James Spann: Alabama dry through Friday; then moisture returns

COBALT BLUE SKY: The average high for Birmingham on Jan. 24 is 54 degrees, and most north and central Alabama communities are between 50 and 55 this afternoon with a cloudless sky. Tonight will be clear and cold; expect a low between 28 and 32 degrees early tomorrow.

Dry weather continues tomorrow and Friday with a good supply of sunshine both days, along with a slow warming trend; we rise into the upper 50s tomorrow, followed by low 60s Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Moisture surges back into the state Saturday, but models continue to suggest the most organized rain over the weekend will come Saturday night into Sunday as a surface wave passes through the northern Gulf of Mexico. We will still mention some risk of rain Saturday, but a decent part of the day looks dry with a high in the low 60s.

Rain amounts over the weekend should be around one-half inch for the northern counties and near one inch for south Alabama. There’s no risk of severe storms with the low passing to the south, and we probably won’t have much thunder.

NEXT WEEK: The first half of the week will be cool and dry with highs mostly in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Clouds return Thursday, with rain likely by Thursday afternoon and Thursday night ahead of a sharp cold front. Then, much colder air rolls into the state at the end of the week on Friday. There could be a snow flake or two on the back side of the departing system Thursday night or Friday morning, but for now ensemble output from the reliable European model suggests “no big deal.” The incoming cold air is the big story; the weekend of Feb. 3-4 looks dry but very cold.

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