James Spann: Alabama temperatures stay mild through Friday

PLEASANT AFTERNOON: With a partly sunny sky, temperatures are mostly in the 67- to 70-degree range across north and central Alabama this afternoon. We note a few scattered showers over the southern half of the state. Clouds will increase statewide tonight.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: The weather won’t change too much Wednesday. We expect a mix of sun and clouds with only isolated showers; the high will be between 68 and 72 as the mild weather continues. The best chance of rain comes late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, when amounts of one-quarter inch to one-half inch are possible. Then, the chance of showers will be relatively small Thursday afternoon through Friday. The latest guidance suggests most of the day Friday will be dry with a high in the low 70s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Models are beginning to converge on a weekend forecast solution, but there is still uncertainty. Saturday will be mostly cloudy, and a few showers are possible, but the most widespread rain will most likely come on Sunday as an Arctic front pushes through Alabama. Saturday will stay comfortable with a high in the 60s, but much colder air begins to enter the state Sunday. Much of north Alabama will most likely fall into the 40s as the rain falls Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Rain will end early Monday as cold air continues to deepen across the state. For now the threat of any wintry precipitation looks fairly low, but we will keep a close eye on model trends. Otherwise, Monday will be cloudy and cold, with temperatures not getting out of the 40s; some places over the Tennessee Valley could hold in the 30s. Midweek looks cold and dry, with highs mostly in the 40s and lows in the 20s.

ON THIS DATE IN 2011: The tallest tree in Wales falls after a wind storm. This 124-year-old Douglas fir on the Lake Vyrnwy Estate stood at 63.7 m (208.9 feet). The tree reportedly was leaning over and had two substantial cracks in the main trunk. This tree would be carved into a giant hand

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