James Spann: Mild weather for Alabama through Thursday

SHORT-TERM WARM-UP: Clouds are hanging tough over much of our state this afternoon, but the sun is out over a decent part of east-central Alabama, where temperatures have hit the mid 60s.

We have noticed a few small showers on radar today, but most of the state is dry. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with temperatures holding in the 50s through the night.

TOMORROW/THURSDAY: We project a high in the mid 60s tomorrow, and by Thursday we rise into the 67- to 70-degree range. The air will remain fairly moist, and we will mention a chance of scattered showers both days with a mostly cloudy sky, but nothing too widespread or heavy.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Rain becomes widespread across the state late Thursday night into Friday as a cold front moves in from the west. Rain amounts of one-half to 1 inch are likely; no issues with severe storms. We begin Friday in the 50s, fall through the 40s during midday, then reach the 30s by late afternoon and Friday evening.

Models continue to suggest that rain could very well change to snow over parts of north Alabama Friday night in the colder air, and before the deeper moisture lifts out. As you might expect, there is a wide range of possibilities across model output, but consistency in the idea is good. The European model is the most aggressive, suggesting accumulating snow for about the northern third of the state, but the Global Forecast System shows little accumulation and nothing more than snow flurries or snow showers.

The bottom line is that it is simply too early to call at this point. We can’t rule out the chance of some snow accumulation or travel impact Friday night; we will be able to be much more specific in coming days as the event gets closer. But remember, there is a chance there will be nothing more than flurries.

Saturday will be cold and dry with a clearing sky; a decent part of north Alabama won’t get out of the 30s, with a brisk north wind making it feel colder. Sunday will be sunny; we start the day between 18 and 23, and the high will be in the low 40s.

NEXT WEEK: A clipper will bring a reinforcing shot of cold air Tuesday; the first half of the week looks cold and dry. Then, warmer air returns Thursday and Friday with some risk of showers toward the end of the week.

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