James Spann: Clouds hang tough over Alabama; more rain on the way

James Spann has the New Year’s Day forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! On this first day of 2019, we begin with a cloudy sky across the state with areas of fog and drizzle. The best chance of significant rain today will be over the southern part of Alabama, south of a stalled front near U.S. 84. The sun might peek out at times over north Alabama this afternoon, but the day will be mostly cloudy with a high in the 60s. Southeast Alabama will see 70s today (Dothan was at 70 degrees just before daybreak).

MORE RAIN: A deep upper trough over the western U.S. will slowly lift out Wednesday, and another soaking rain event will begin for the state Wednesday afternoon. Rain will be fairly widespread Wednesday night, Thursday and into Friday. The air will be stable with highs in the 50s Wednesday and Thursday, so probably no thunder, just lots of rain. Friday will be a touch warmer with highs in the 60s, and with a surface low passing just northwest of here we might hear some thunder, but we don’t expect any severe storms.

Rain amounts from now through Friday will average around 2 inches; at this point we are not expecting any flash flooding. But Alabama streams, creeks and rivers are still swollen and in come cases out of their banks, and this will certainly keep levels high.

BRIGHTER WEEKEND: The sky finally clears Friday night, and we will enjoy a very nice weekend. Saturday morning will be chilly with a low near the freezing mark, but we warm into the upper 50s Saturday afternoon with sunshine in full supply. Sunday will feature a sunny sky with a high in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The good news is that the pattern looks fairly dry. We might see some light rain Monday night with a surface front, but for now we aren’t expecting much rain for the rest of the week, with mostly sunny days and fair nights. Highs will be in the 50s and 60s; there’s no sign of any bitterly cold air around here for the next 15 days.

LOOKING BACK AT 2018: Birmingham’s rain total for the year was 61.09 inches, 7.37 inches above average. Here are some other totals for the year:

  • Black Creek (just northeast of Gadsden) — 72.41 inches
  • Tuscaloosa — 69.76 inches
  • Calera (Shelby County Airport) — 68.72 inches
  • Mobile — 63.34 inches
  • Huntsville — 59.94 inches
  • Anniston — 56.88 inches
  • Auburn — 49.46 inches

Birmingham’s rain total for December was 11.34 inches, making it the fifth-wettest December on record.

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