James Spann: Wet today; colder tonight; dry weekend for Alabama

James Spann: One more wet day; then drier, cooler air arrives in Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WET THURSDAY: An approaching cold front will bring more rain and possibly a few thunderstorms to Alabama today. Additional rain amounts of one-half to 1 inch are expected, and National Weather Service Huntsville continues a flood watch for the Tennessee Valley. On the positive side, the Storm Prediction Center has removed the marginal risk of severe storms it had outlooked for parts of east Alabama; there just won’t be much surface-based instability.

We will be close to 70 degrees this morning, but temperatures should begin to fall this afternoon. Many communities across north Alabama will reach the 50s late in the day with a cool north wind. NWS Birmingham has issued a wind advisory for parts of central Alabama, as winds ahead of the front will increase to 15-25 mph later today.

The sky will clear tonight, and we will be in the 38- to 41-degree range early tomorrow.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Tomorrow will be sunny, breezy and cool, with a high close to 60 degrees. The weekend will remain dry with a good supply of sunshine Saturday and Sunday; highs will be in the low to mid 60s. However, mornings will be pretty cold, with lows in the 30- to 35-degree range; colder pockets will reach the upper 20s. Some frost is a good possibility both mornings.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring showers late Monday and Monday night; then the rest of the week looks dry. An upper trough will set up a fairly cold pattern for the latter half of the week. I think there is a good chance we go below freezing Wednesday and Thursday morning; possibly Friday morning as well.

WELCOME TO METEOROLOGICAL SPRING: In the world of meteorology, we consider spring to be the months of March, April and May. In terms of astronomy, the vernal equinox comes this year at 11:15 a.m. on March 20. This is also the beginning of the spring tornado season in Alabama, which runs through the end of May. For Birmingham, the average high today is 62; it rises to 70 by the end of the month.

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