James Spann: Coldest air so far this season hits Alabama by Saturday

James Spann: Moderate weather for Alabama until Friday night from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ANOTHER COLD MORNING: The coldest temperatures just before sunrise were over northeast Alabama:

  • Black Creek — 31
  • Fort Payne — 32
  • Valley Head — 33
  • Gadsden — 36
  • Heflin — 37
  • Cullman — 38
  • Decatur — 39

We warm nicely today with a strong October sun; most communities will enjoy a high in the low 70s this afternoon. Tonight will be fair and not as cold as recent nights.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: Moisture levels will slowly rise tomorrow; we expect a mix of sun and clouds with a high between 71 and 74 degrees. We will mention the risk of isolated showers tomorrow afternoon, with rain becoming more likely tomorrow night ahead of a sharp cold front. The most widespread rain will come from about 10 tomorrow night through noon Saturday; rain amounts around 1 inch are likely over the northern counties of the state, with one-half inch or less for south Alabama.

The Storm Prediction Center has introduced a marginal risk of severe storms tomorrow night for parts of our state.

A narrow tongue of unstable air will move up into the state ahead of the front, perhaps sufficient for a few storms with gusty winds and a very low-end tornado threat, but the overall severe weather risk is low. The window for stronger storms will come from about 10 p.m. Friday through 2 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday will be a blustery, windy, cold and damp day. Rain will end during midday, but clouds linger through the afternoon. The coldest air so far this season blows into the state, and wind chill index values will hover around 40 all day.

Saturday’s high temperature will be reached, most likely, during the early morning with low 50s. We fall slowly into the upper 40s during the day. It will be more like January instead of October.

FROST/FREEZE POTENTIAL: We drop into the 30s Sunday morning; winds will stay up during the night, most likely preventing temperatures from reaching freezing and mitigating frost formation. Sunday will be sunny and cool, with a high in the upper 50s.

The coldest morning will come early Monday when the wind will be light. Colder pockets will see a freeze, with 20s likely; otherwise, lows will be in the low to mid 30s with widespread frost likely. Growers beware.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games across north and central Alabama Friday night, we will need to mention the risk of showers over the western half of the state. Stadiums east of I-65 should be dry, with the bulk of the rain holding off until late night. The sky will be cloudy with temperatures falling from the upper 60s at kickoff to near 60 by the final whistle.

The annual Magic City Classic (Alabama State vs Alabama A&M) kicks off Saturday at 2:30 at Legion Field. It will be cloudy, windy and cold, with temperatures hovering in the upper 40s during the game. Most of the rain should end by kickoff, but some drizzle could linger at times during the game.

UAB plays Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg Saturday (6 p.m. kickoff). The weather will be breezy and cold, with temperatures falling from 55 at kickoff into the upper 40s by the fourth quarter. Rain over south Mississippi should end well before kickoff.

Jacksonville State will host Southeast Missouri State Saturday (3 p.m. kickoff). It looks like most of the rain will be over by kickoff; otherwise, it will be cloudy, windy and cold with some drizzle, temperatures in the upper 40s and wind chill index values close to 40 degrees. Bundle up.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: The week looks generally dry with a slow warming trend; a few showers are possible late Wednesday or Wednesday night with a surface front approaching. Rain, if any, should be light and spotty.

TROPICS: A disturbance on the coast of Central America has a medium chance of becoming a tropical depression within five days; it will merge with the strong cold front over the eastern U.S. and enhance the rain on the East Coast by Sunday. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

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For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.

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