James Spann: Dry Friday, rainy Saturday ahead for Alabama

SUNNY BUT COLD: The sky is sunny across Alabama this afternoon, but temperatures are below average for mid-January, with 40s over the northern counties and 50s for south Alabama. Another freeze is likely tonight; most places will see a low in the 20s early Friday. Then, during the day Friday, the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with a high in the 50s. Clouds will increase Friday night.

RAIN RETUNS THIS WEEKEND: Saturday will be a cloudy, cool day with rain moving in during the afternoon. Rain will continue Saturday night before tapering off Sunday. The air will be cool and stable, so there is no risk of severe thunderstorms and probably no thunder. Rain amounts should be around one-half inch or less, so no flooding issues. The high will be near 50 degrees Saturday and in the mid 50s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: The week looks pretty quiet, generally dry Monday through Friday with seasonal temperatures. Highs will be mostly in the 50s and lows in the 30s. The next meaningful rain should come at some point over the following weekend (Jan. 19-20).

ON THIS DATE IN 1975: A total of 13 tornadoes touched down in Alabama, including an EF-3 that moved through Pell City and Ragland. Many buildings, mostly homes, were heavily damaged by large trees uprooted and falling across them. Seven mobile homes were destroyed in a small trailer park about one mile northeast of Pell City. The same tornado that struck Pell City hit Ragland, about 15 miles to the northeast. Ragland High School sustained extensive damage to its roof and windows. Several homes were damaged, while one mobile home and a cement block building were destroyed. One man was killed inside the poorly constructed cement block building.

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