James Spann: Record warmth for Alabama again today

James Spann forecasts one more day of record February warmth before cold returns from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ONE MORE DAY OF WARMTH: The record high for Birmingham today is 76, set in 1999 and 1957; we are forecasting a high of 78 this afternoon. Some communities in west Alabama could touch 80 degrees as our spring preview continues. The day should be dry with a mix of sun and clouds; severe storms are possible north and west of our state ahead of a sharp cold front.

Thankfully, the upper support will lift away from the region tonight, and we expect nothing more than a weakening band of showers as the front moves through Alabama.

MUCH COLDER FRIDAY: Friday will feature a clearing sky, and the day will be much colder, with a high between 47 and 50 degrees. A brisk northwest wind of 12-22 mph will make it feel colder. The wind will die down Friday night, and with a clear sky we project a low in the mid 20s by daybreak Saturday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be partly sunny and cool, with a high in the low 50s. Most of the state will stay dry Sunday, although we have introduced the risk of a few showers by mid to late afternoon over the northern quarter of the state. Sunday’s high will be in the mid 50s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be mostly cloudy and mild with scattered showers possible over north Alabama; the high will be in the low 60s. Then, a fairly dynamic storm system will set up west of Alabama on Tuesday, and we will mention a good chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon/night. There will be some surface-based instability, so a few strong storms are possible, but for now the overall severe weather threat looks fairly low.

Rain ends early Wednesday as cooler air rolls into the state; some clearing is possible Wednesday afternoon with a high close to 50. The weather looks cool and dry Thursday and Friday.

ON THIS DATE IN 1835: A great freeze took place Feb. 2-9 across southern Georgia, southeastern South Carolina and northern Florida. The St. Johns River was frozen, “several rods from the shore,” and people were able to walk a distance from the shore. Many citruses and other fruit trees were killed to the ground, never to grow again, when temperatures reached as low as 1 degree in Charleston and 8 degrees in Jacksonville. A Florida gentleman told a newspaper that the state “appeared as desolate as if a fire had swept over it” after the severe freeze of that winter season.

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