James Spann: Cooler in Alabama today, with some light rain

James Spann: Noticeably cooler day for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

CALMING DOWN: After a night of destructive hail and tornadoes, the weather has calmed across Alabama this morning. National Weather Service survey teams will be out today assessing storm damage; some of the most serious tornado damage is at Jacksonville in Calhoun County, and Southside in Etowah County. Hail damage is extensive in places like Cullman.

Today will be mostly cloudy, breezy and cooler, with a chance of some light rain at times. Temperatures will hover in the 50s all day; some communities north of Birmingham could drop into the 40s. The sky will gradually clear tonight, and by daybreak tomorrow we drop into the mid 30s. Colder spots could be close to freezing, but we don’t expect much frost because of a north wind that will continue overnight.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Tomorrow will be sunny and cool, with a high in the 50s, and we have the risk of another late-season freeze early Thursday, with lows in the upper 20s and low 30s for most places across north and central Alabama. The wind will be near calm, and widespread frost is likely as well. During the day Thursday, the sky will remain sunny with a high in the low 60s. Moisture levels will rise a bit Friday, but for now we will leave the forecast dry; the day will be partly sunny with a high in the 60s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The weekend looks generally dry, but a few showers are possible over the northern quarter of the state Saturday night and Sunday. With a mix of sun and clouds, we project a high in the 70s both days.

NEXT WEEK: A surface front will bring a chance of showers early in the week, mostly on Tuesday, but for now we don’t expect any severe weather problems. The latter half of the week looks dry and mild.

SPRING ARRIVES: Today marks the first day of spring; the vernal equinox is at 11:15 this morning. We have approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness as the sun is directly over the equator.

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