James Spann: Freeze warning for north, central Alabama tonight

BLUE SKY AND SUNSHINE: With a good supply of sunshine this afternoon, temperatures are in the mid 50s across much of north and central Alabama, about 10 degrees below average for mid-March in Alabama. Tonight will be clear and cold; a freeze warning is in effect for areas north of a line from Tuscaloosa to Brent to Clanton to Opelika.

We expect lows early tomorrow morning in the 23- to 32-degree range; colder pockets will drop down into the low 20s with lots of frost, as the wind will be near calm. The day tomorrow will be sunny and cool, with a high in the mid 50s again.

Another freeze is likely early Thursday, but a warming trend begins Thursday afternoon as we rise into the upper 60s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Confidence is growing in the weekend forecast as model consistency improves. The daytime Friday should be mild and dry with a high in the low 70s, but clouds will increase late in the day. We will forecast periods of rain, and a few thunderstorms Friday night into Saturday morning. For now, it looks like the main window for rain comes from about 6 p.m. Friday through 9 a.m. Saturday. At this point we don’t expect any severe thunderstorms, and rain amounts should be in the one-half-inch to 1-inch range.

The sky becomes partly sunny Saturday afternoon as we get into a dry slot, and temperatures rise into the mid 70s. Sunday looks dry and pleasant with a partially sunny sky and a high close to 70 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring a chance of showers late Monday and Monday night, followed by much cooler air during the midweek. Highs drop into the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday, and we might be looking at yet another late-season freeze Wednesday or Thursday morning.

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