James Spann: Showers, storms arrive in Alabama late tonight

THIS AFTERNOON: Temperatures are finally back to where they should be for mid-March, with mid to upper 60s at most locations this afternoon. We have a mix of sun and clouds with very little on radar.

An approaching surface front will bring a band of showers and a few thunderstorms to North Alabama late tonight and tomorrow morning; The Storm Prediction Center has now issued a “marginal risk” of severe storms in the broad area from Muscle Shoals to Memphis and Little Rock; this risk area clips the far northwest corner of Alabama. The best chance of showers and storms will come from midnight through 10 a.m.; rain amounts should be one-half inch or less for most places.

A few heavier storms after midnight near the Shoals could produce small hail and gusty winds, but we don’t expect any severe weather issues for the rest of the state.

REST OF THE WEEKEND: Rain will be out of here by midday tomorrow, and the sky becomes partly sunny by afternoon with temperatures soaring into the low 70s. Then, Sunday will be a sunny day with a high in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be dry and mild with a high in the 70s. We will mention some risk of showers late Tuesday, Tuesday night and possibly into Wednesday, but rain amounts should be fairly light. A more dynamic system will impact Alabama late in the week; the latest Global Forecast System hints we could see a few strong storms Friday night or Saturday, March 24-25.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: We will be on the road through early April offering free storm spotter classes. We need more trained spotters in Alabama. By attending, you can make the severe weather warning process better. No need to register; just come with a curious mind. And there is no age limit; kids who love weather will enjoy it. You will never look at a storm the same again. The next class will be Tuesday evening in Lineville at 6:30.

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.

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