James Spann: Rain, storms for Alabama tonight; much colder Saturday

RADAR CHECK: Rain is falling over much of north and west Alabama this afternoon, where temperatures are only in the 50s. It is warmer over the central counties, where scattered showers are in progress and most places are in the low to mid 70s.

Rain and storms will become widespread tonight. The good news is that the Storm Prediction Center has really trimmed the severe weather risk for Alabama. No severe storms are expected over the northern half of the state; the core threat will be over southwest Alabama, where a slight risk is defined for counties like Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke, Washington and Choctaw.

Storms over southwest Alabama could produce strong, gusty winds overnight, with an outside risk of an isolated tornado. Rain amounts statewide will be in the 1-inch range; no flooding is expected.

RAW, COLD DAY TOMORROW: Tomorrow will not be a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day. For the northern half of the state, temperatures will fall into the 40s with a brisk north wind; the sky will be cloudy and some light rain is possible at times. It will feel like early January instead of April; temperatures will be 30 degrees below average.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For Auburn’s A-Day game Saturday at Jordan Hare Stadium (3 p.m. kickoff), the weather will be cloudy, breezy and cold, with temperatures falling from the mid 50s at kickoff into the 40s during the second half. A brisk northwest wind of 10-20 mph will make it feel colder.

FREEZE SUNDAY MORNING: The sky will clear tomorrow night, and we project a minimum temperature in the low 30s for most places early Sunday; colder spots will get down into the 20s. Then, Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high in the low 60s.

NEXT WEEK: For now, Monday looks dry with a partly sunny sky; the high will be close to 70. Some rain is possible Tuesday; then cooler air arrives for the latter half of the week. Models have trended a little warmer for Wednesday morning, suggesting many places might hold above 40 degrees. But we will still need to monitor for frost potential as we get closer.

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