James Spann: Mild with a chance of showers in Alabama Friday, Saturday

MILD FEBRUARY AFTERNOON: As expected, temperatures are in the 70s across parts of north and central Alabama this afternoon. The sky is generally cloudy, but there are some breaks in the overcast, and the radar is quiet at midafternoon.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: The overall pattern won’t change. A strong upper high is over the Gulf of Mexico and extends up into south Alabama. At the surface, a cold front will creep into north Alabama Friday and become stationary somewhere around U.S. 278 (Hamilton to Cullman to Gadsden). Showers are likely over the northern third of the state Friday afternoon through Saturday; nothing too heavy, and probably no thunder. The best coverage of rain will be over the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama.

The sky will remain generally cloudy tomorrow and Saturday, and highs will be in the 60s for places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Anniston. North of the front, however, temperatures will fall through the 50s during the day tomorrow, and the high Saturday will be in the mid 50s from Hamilton, Cullman and Gadsden north.

Sunday will be another mostly cloudy day with a high in the 60s, and while showers are still possible, they should be pretty widely spaced.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: We still foresee no change in the persistent upper air pattern. The ridge over the Gulf of Mexico will be the main feature affecting us, meaning mostly cloudy conditions with some risk of showers just about daily through the week. Temperatures will remain well above average, with highs in the 70s on most days. Some communities could actually flirt with 80 degrees Tuesday afternoon.

But remember, winter isn’t over. We always have cold snaps in March and April, and some of our biggest snows have come in mid-March and the first week of April. Don’t even think about planting anything that will be harmed by a freeze.

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