James Spann: Dry air returns to Alabama today; colder tomorrow

James Spann: Mild Monday before much colder air hits Alabama Tuesday from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRY THROUGH WEDNESDAY: Expect a good supply of sunshine across Alabama today as dry air returns to the region; we project a high between 57 and 60 degrees this afternoon, a little above the average high of 55 for Jan. 29 at Birmingham. As a deep upper trough forms over the eastern U.S., colder air will roll in here tonight, and we drop into the mid to upper 20s early tomorrow. Then, tomorrow will be sunny but noticeably colder, with a high between 44 and 49 degrees.

The coldest morning this week will come early Wednesday, when temperatures drop into the low to mid 20s; the day Wednesday will feature a sunny sky with a high between 55 and 59 degrees.

LATER THIS WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of some light rain to the state late Thursday and Thursday night; moisture will be pretty limited, and it looks like rain amounts will be generally under one-quarter inch for north and central Alabama. Then, on Friday, morning clouds will give way to afternoon sunshine. We will enjoy a high around 60 Thursday, but Friday will be colder with a high in the upper 40s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be the best day to do something outdoors; we start with an early morning low in the upper 20s, but temperatures rise nicely with a high in the mid to upper 50s with a good supply of sunshine. Clouds return Saturday night, and we will deal with rain at times Sunday. Rain amounts Sunday should be one-half inch or less, and there is no risk of severe weather with a cool, stable air mass in place. Parts of north Alabama, in fact, could hold in the 40s much of the day Sunday. A few patches of sleet are possible Sunday morning as the rain begins over the northern counties of the state, but temperatures will be above freezing and there shouldn’t be any impact.

NEXT WEEK: Look for a clearing sky Monday, and dry, seasonal weather is expected through midweek. For now, it seems like the coldest Arctic air will hold north of Alabama through much of the week; there’s no sign of any snow/ice issues for Alabama anytime soon.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total yesterday was only 0.27 inches; the total for the month is now 1.35 inches. This is 2.99 inches below average, and the Drought Monitor released last Thursday shows a “severe drought” creeping into parts of central Alabama.

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