James Spann: Warmer days ahead for Alabama

James Spann forecasts warmer weather for Alabama heading toward the weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

NICE WARM-UP TODAY: Temperatures are mostly in the 20s across the northern half of Alabama this morning, but we warm into the mid 50s this afternoon as a warming trend begins. The air remains dry and the sky will be mostly sunny. Friday will feature a high in the low 60s with a partly sunny sky.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday promises to be a delightful day with a pretty decent amount of sun and a high in the mid 60s for most communities. Clouds will increase Sunday and a few scattered showers are possible, but nothing too widespread or heavy. Sunday’s high will be in the upper 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The week is looking fairly wet. An approaching surface front will bring a chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm Monday, and that front will stall out north of Alabama, keeping periods of rain in the forecast through Wednesday. The first half of the week will be very mild, with highs well up in the 60s; a few spots could see 70-degree warmth. Then, on Thursday, another upper trough begins to form over the eastern half of the nation, pushing a cold front into the state. Rain is still possible Thursday, especially during the morning, and the day will be colder, with temperatures holding in the 40s over the northern counties of the state. Friday looks cool and dry.

UP NORTH: At 5 a.m., Chicago (O’Hare Airport) was at minus 20 degrees with a wind chill of -minus 37. It actually could climb above zero there today; the forecast high is 2. In Minnesota at 5 a.m., International Falls reported 42 below zero; thankfully, the wind there is calm.

ON THIS DATE IN 1989: The barometric pressure at Norway, Alaska, reached 31.85 inches (1,078.4 mb) establishing an all-time record for the North American continent. The temperature at the time of the record was about 46 degrees below zero. Severe arctic cold began to invade the north central United States. The temperature at Grand Fall, Montana, plunged 85 degrees in 36 hours. Valentine, Nebraska, plummeted from a record high of 70 degrees to zero in just nine hours. Northwest winds gusted to 86 mph at Lander, Wyoming, and wind chill readings of 80 degrees below zero were reported in Montana. Sixty-four cities in the central U.S. reported record highs for the date as readings reached the 60s in Michigan and the 80s in Kansas.

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