James Spann: Showers, storms return to Alabama Saturday night

WEEKEND CHANGES AHEAD: This is another beautiful day across Alabama, with ample sunshine through high clouds and temperatures in the 70s. Tonight will be mostly fair; we drop into the 50s early Saturday.

It still looks like the day Saturday will be mostly dry, although a few isolated showers could pop up. Clouds will steadily increase, and the high will be up in the 75- to 80-degree range. Then, Saturday night, a band of showers and thunderstorms will move into the state ahead of a cold front. Strong storms are possible over northwest Alabama during the evening (6 to 10 p.m.), and the Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for that part of the state.

The band of showers and thunderstorms will continue to move southeast through the state Saturday night, and by Sunday the best chance of rain will shift down into the southern third of the state. The sky becomes partly sunny over the northern counties by afternoon, and the day will be much cooler, with a high only in the 50s.

MONDAY MORNING CHILL: New model guidance shows lows down in the 30- to 36-degree range over much of north and central Alabama, meaning colder spots will most likely see a freeze, with frost a possibility as well. Growers will need to keep an eye on temperature forecasts. The weather will be dry through Thursday; highs will be in the 60s Monday and Tuesday, then back in the 70s Wednesday through Friday. Moisture levels rise late in the week, and a few showers could show up by Friday, but for now it doesn’t look like a big rain event.

ON THIS DATE IN 1942: A slow-moving low-pressure system brought 11.5 inches of snow to the nation’s capital on March 29, 1942. It still stands as the highest March snowfall on record in Washington, D.C., on a single calendar day. Baltimore, Maryland, recorded an imposing total of 21.9 inches of snow on the same day. On the flip side, eight days later, the temperature in D.C. soared to 92 degrees on April 6, 1942, and it remains the highest temperature on record for April 6.

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