James Spann: Mild weekend ahead for Alabama, with just a few showers

James Spann: Cold air leaving the state with a week-long warm-up following from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WARMING TREND CONTINUES: Temperatures will climb to around 60 degrees this afternoon with a partly sunny sky. Mild weather will continue over the weekend, but we won’t see as much sun Saturday and Sunday as moisture levels rise. We will mention the chance of a few isolated showers both days, but a decent part of the weekend will be dry. Highs will be in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Temperatures will remain above average for the first half of the week, with a few places reaching the low 70s Tuesday and Wednesday. The sky will be mostly cloudy with some risk of showers and maybe even a thunderstorm each day, with a surface front stalled out just to the north. There is a good bit of model inconsistency later in the week, but the general idea is that the cold front finally gets a southward push and we see cooler air by Friday.

BRUTAL COLD BEGINNING TO EXIT THE U.S.: Chicago will climb to a balmy 20 degrees today, and by Monday a high around 50 is expected as the bitterly cold air exits the region.

WELCOME TO FEBRUARY: Birmingham’s average high/low today is 55/35; it will rise to 62/40 by Feb. 28. The coldest temperature on record came on Feb. 13, 1899, when Birmingham dropped to 10 degrees below zero. Our average rain for the month is 4.8 inches.

ON THIS DATE IN 1955: Seen first as a “well-defined cone-shaped funnel” over the Mississippi River, an F3 tornado cut a path from Commerce Landing to Clark in northeastern Mississippi. This tornado killed 20 and injured at least 141 people. Most of the deaths were in a school.

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