James Spann: Cool days, cold nights for Alabama

COLD NIGHT AHEAD: Temperatures are in the 48- to 55-degree range across north and central Alabama this afternoon with sunshine through scattered clouds. Tonight will be clear and cold, with lows in the 20s early tomorrow morning.

REST OF THE WEEK: A benign weather pattern will continue through Friday with mostly sunny, cool days and fair, cold nights. Highs will be generally in the 50s, although some north Alabama communities could hold in the 40s Friday afternoon as another surge of colder air drops into the state from the north.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be sunny; after a sub-freezing start the high will be in the 50s with a good supply of sunshine. Clouds increase Saturday night, and wet weather returns Sunday with periods of rain and possibly a thunderstorm (but severe weather is not expected). We are getting much better global model agreement, making for a higher-confidence forecast. The high Sunday will be in the 50s; rain amounts of one-half to 1 inch seem likely.

NEXT WEEK: Rain ends very early Monday, and some clearing is possible by Monday afternoon. Then, dry weather is likely for the middle of next week with seasonal temperatures (highs in the 50s). Some rain seems possible toward the end of the week as moisture returns.

CHRISTMAS WEATHER THOUGHTS: It’s way too early for a specific forecast, of course, but models are in decent agreement now, hinting the coldest air will be north and west of Alabama. Around here the weather looks fairly comfortable, and I would not be surprised if we had some rain to deal with.

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