James Spann: Alabama weather stays quiet through Friday

James Spann: Not much rain for Alabama until the weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

NOT MUCH RAIN THIS WEEK: The sky is mostly cloudy across Alabama early this morning, but we have no rain on radar, and the sky should become partly sunny later today with a high close to 70 degrees this afternoon. Clouds increase tonight, and a wave has potential to bring a little light rain to the southern half of the state, but moisture is fairly limited, and where rain falls amounts should be under one-tenth of an inch.

Tomorrow will feature a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the 60s.

CHILLY EARLY WEDNESDAY: We project a low early Wednesday in the 37- to 42-degree range; colder pockets will have a chance of some light frost with a clear sky and light wind. Most of the larger city observations should be close to 40 degrees. Then, during the day, we rise to near 70 degrees with sunshine in full supply.

Thursday will be dry with a sunny sky and a high in the upper 70s.

ACTION TO THE WEST FRIDAY: A deep upper trough will begin to move out of the western states late this week, and will set the stage for a severe weather threat west of Alabama Friday. The Storm Prediction Center has defined a severe thunderstorm risk for much of Arkansas, North Louisiana and east Texas.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Rain and storms will move into Alabama, but for now the SPC does not have any severe weather risk defined for Saturday because of model uncertainty. There is a considerable difference between the American global model (the Global Forecast System) and the European model (the ECMWF); the GFS suggests the main chance of rain and storms will come Saturday, perhaps even during the morning, while the EC is slower, with storms arriving late Saturday afternoon into Saturday night. The arrival time of the storms will also determine whether we have a severe weather threat here.

For now we will forecast a good chance of rain and storms Saturday and Saturday night, ending Sunday morning. The overall severe weather threat will be pretty limited by the lack of surface-based instability; keep an eye on forecast updates in coming days for potential changes as we get higher confidence. The high Saturday will be in the 70s, but Sunday looks much cooler; some places could hold in the 50s all day with a gusty north wind.

ONE MORE FROST THREAT: It’s really too early to be specific, but global models hint we could drop down into the 30s on the morning of Monday, April 16, and possibly Tuesday, April 17. This should be the last widespread frost threat of the season, and then we will give a green light to those wanting to plant anything harmed by frost or a freeze.

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