James Spann: Rain moves into Alabama Thursday night

HIGH CLOUDS: We have a deck of high, thin cirrus clouds over Alabama this afternoon; with filtered sunshine, temperatures are in the 50s. Clouds become thicker and lower tonight and Thursday ahead of a developing storm system to the west. The high Thursday afternoon will be in the mid to upper 50s.

RAIN RETURNS: Rain moves into the state Thursday night, and we will continue to see periods of rain through Friday and Friday night. A few strong thunderstorms are possible Thursday night near the Gulf Coast, where the Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms.

Rain amounts will be around 1 inch across the state Thursday night through Friday night; the high Friday will be 55-60 over north Alabama, with low to mid 60s for the southern half of the state.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The storm system will lift northeast, away from Alabama, but we will maintain a chance of lingering showers Saturday, mainly during the morning. Otherwise, Saturday will be cloudy with a high in the 50s. Sunday promises to be a nice day with ample sunshine and a high between 56 and 60 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: At this point the week looks very quiet, with dry weather Monday through Friday and highs generally in the 50s and lows in the 30s.

EARLY MORNING SHAKER: There was a magnitude 4.4 quake this morning at 3:14 a.m., centered just northeast of Decatur, Tennessee, in the eastern part of the state southwest of Knoxville. It was the second strongest on record for east Tennessee and was felt across a large part of northeast Alabama. The quake was followed by three smaller aftershocks.

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