James Spann: Cold front arrives in Alabama tonight with a few showers

MORE RECORDS: Here are some 3 p.m. temperatures across Alabama:

  • Pell City — 81
  • Tuscaloosa — 80
  • Demopolis — 80
  • Montgomery — 79
  • Marion — 79
  • Selma — 79
  • Anniston — 78
  • Gadsden — 78
  • Sylacauga — 78
  • Talladega — 78
  • Muscle Shoals — 78
  • Alexander City — 77
  • Mobile — 77

We have new daily record highs at most of the major observations stations.

A cold front will pass through tonight, putting an end to the spring-like warmth. A few showers will accompany the front, but rain amounts will be fairly light, and there is no risk of severe thunderstorms. Friday will be partly sunny, windy and much colder, with a high in the 47- to 50-degree range. A north wind of 12-22 mph will make it feel colder.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday morning will feature a freeze; with a clear, light wind we start the day in the mid 20s. The high Saturday afternoon will be in the mid 50s with a partly sunny sky. Clouds will increase Sunday, but most of the day will be dry, with just a few isolated showers by mid to late afternoon over the northern counties of the state. Sunday’s high will be in the 57- to 60-degree range, very close to seasonal averages for mid-February.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be mostly cloudy and mild with a few showers possible over the northern quarter of the state; the afternoon high will be in the mid to upper 60s. Then, on Tuesday, showers and a few thunderstorms are likely ahead of an approaching cold front. The latest global models suggest severe storms should not be an issue. Cooler, drier air follows on Wednesday with a partly sunny sky and a high in the 50s. Thursday and Friday look cool and dry.

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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