James Spann: Very mild day for Alabama, with only isolated showers

James Spann: Alabama weather stays mild for a while from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

SPRING PREVIEW: The overall upper air pattern across North America won’t be changing anytime soon. A strong upper ridge over the Gulf of Mexico is the main player for us, meaning mostly cloudy days, mild temperatures and some risk of showers for the foreseeable future. Any showers today across Alabama should be pretty isolated, and we might see some breaks in the cloud cover this afternoon, pushing temperatures into the 70s. The record high for Birmingham for Feb.15 is 80, set in 1979; we won’t get there, but where the sun breaks out some places could see mid to upper 70s.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: A surface front will approach from the north and become stationary over southern Tennessee. This means mostly cloudy weather will continue on all three days with highs in the 60s. Showers are a good possibility tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night and Saturday, with the highest coverage over the Tennessee Valley region of far north Alabama. Showers will be more scattered in nature to the south for places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston and Gadsden, and we expect few showers over the southern half of the state.

There are no worries with severe thunderstorms or flooding, and Sunday will trend drier, with only widely scattered showers.

NEXT WEEK: The ridge actually strengthens a bit; it sure looks like we will see highs in the 70s much of the week for a nice preview of spring. In fact, the 00Z Global Forecast System is printing a high of 80 for Birmingham on Tuesday. If by chance that verifies, it will be a record (the current record for Feb. 20 is 78, set in 1986). Each day the sky will be mostly cloudy, and each day there will be some risk of showers. It will be very hard to find a bright, sunny day in this kind of setup.

IS WINTER OVER? No. We always have cold snaps in March and April, and the European ensemble hints of one in early March.

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