James Spann: Cool mornings, warm afternoons for Alabama this week

James Spann: Chances of rain not good for Alabama this week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

MORNING CHILL: Some temperatures just before sunrise across Alabama:

  • Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) — 39
  • Anniston — 45
  • Gadsden — 45
  • Cullman — 45
  • Valley Head — 45
  • Haleyville — 48
  • Calera (Shelby County Airport) — 49

Temperatures will warm quickly, and most places will see a high in the low 80s this afternoon. With no soil moisture, afternoons tend to be warm this time of the year since the sun’s energy doesn’t have to work on evaporation (all of the energy goes to heating the ground, which heats the air). If we were in August, we would be dealing with nasty triple-digit heat. Droughts and heat waves go together like peanut butter and jelly.

The sky will be mostly sunny today as dry air stays in place. Today will be the 37th consecutive day without measurable rain for Birmingham (based on data from the airport); the record streak is 52 days, set in 1924. The rain total for Birmingham is just a trace for the month of October.

Since the first of October, 910 wildfires have destroyed more than 10,000 acres across the state. To put the seriousness of the situation in perspective, that’s almost half the number of fires for the entire 2016 calendar year.

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TOMORROW/THURSDAY: Tomorrow will be dry with a warm afternoon; then on Thursday a weak surface boundary will pass through. With little moisture and limited dynamic support, it still looks like any showers will be few and far between, and we won’t mention anything other than isolated showers. Nothing to make a dent in the severe drought. The high Thursday will fall back into the 70s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Dry is the word. Sunny, warm days and clear, cool nights on these three days. Highs in the low 80s, lows in the 50s.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: A clear sky for the high school games Friday night with temperatures falling through the 60s.

For Saturday’s Magic City Classic in Birmingham (Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M, 3 p.m. kickoff), the sky will be sunny, with temperatures falling from near 81 degrees at kickoff into the 70s by the fourth quarter.

Auburn is on the road this weekend, playing at Ole Miss in Oxford (6:15 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be clear, with temperatures falling from near 72 at kickoff into the low 60s by the fourth quarter.

Alabama has the weekend off.

NEXT WEEK: Halloween will be dry Monday, with a good supply of sunshine and a high around 80. There is some hope an upper trough will finally bring a chance of rain to the state toward the end of the week.

AT THE BEACH: Sunny days, fair nights through the weekend on the coast from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores. Highs around 80, lows in the 60s. See a detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet and tropical storm formation is not expected through the week.

WEATHER BRAINS: You can listen to our weekly 90-minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including meteorologists at ABC 33/40. We recorded a new episode last night.

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