James Spann: Late-season cold snap on its way to Alabama

SUNNY AFTERNOON: We have sunshine in full supply across almost all of Alabama this afternoon as dry air has returned to the state. Temperatures are in the mid to upper 60s at most reporting stations.

Tonight will be clear, but much colder air invades from the north, and by daybreak we will be in the mid 30s. Wednesday will be mostly sunny but breezy and very cool, with a high between 50 and 55 degrees.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: We project lows both mornings between 28 and 32 degrees for most locations across north and central Alabama. Colder spots could see low to mid 20s, especially Friday morning, when the wind will be near calm. Frost formation is likely early Friday. Both days will be sunny; the high Thursday will be in the mid 50s, followed by low 60s Friday.

RAIN RETURNS OVER THE WEEKEND: The latest global model runs suggest a decent part of the day Saturday will be dry and mild; clouds will increase, but showers during the day should be widely scattered. There’s a good chance we reach the 70-degree mark Saturday afternoon. Then, we will forecast rain and a few thunderstorms Saturday night into Sunday morning as a surface low tracks over far north Alabama. There will be a bit of surface-based instability available, but for now the overall severe weather threat looks relatively low.

At this point, it looks like the most widespread rain over the weekend will come from about 6 p.m. Saturday through 9 a.m. Sunday. Rain amounts around 1 inch are likely. Clouds will most likely linger through Sunday afternoon, and there’s a pretty good chance we won’t get out of the 50s Sunday with a cool north breeze.

NEXT WEEK: For now much of the week looks dry; temperatures will be below average Monday through Wednesday, and there is a chance we see another late-season freeze early Tuesday and possibly Wednesday morning.

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