James Spann: Clouds over Alabama tonight, with only a few sprinkles

BLUE SKY: After lows in the upper 20s and low 30s, temperatures have recovered nicely across Alabama this afternoon; most communities are close to 60 degrees. Clouds will increase across the state tonight thanks to an upper trough, but the air is very dry, and we don’t expect anything more than a few scattered sprinkles over the northern half of the state. A few light showers are likely over south Alabama.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: These two days will be dry with ample sunshine and a warming trend. We rise into the mid 60s Tuesday, followed by low to mid 70s Wednesday.

RAIN RETURNS LATE IN THE WEEK: Clouds will slowly increase Thursday, and we expect a pretty decent chance of showers and thunderstorms Thursday night into Friday morning. For now it looks like the main window for rain will come from 3 p.m. Thursday until 8 a.m. Friday. The Storm Prediction Center has identified a risk of severe storms west of Alabama Thursday, but at the moment the severe weather threat for Alabama looks fairly low with limited moisture and instability levels.

The chance of rain is fairly low (but not zero) Friday afternoon and Friday night; the high Friday will be in the mid 70s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Looks like this will be the warmest weekend so far this year; afternoon highs will be close to 80 degrees Saturday and Sunday. The weather will be somewhat unsettled with a moist, unstable air mass in place. The sky will be cloudy at times, and we will forecast scattered showers and thunderstorms both days. It won’t be a washout kind of weekend, but no doubt it will rain at times.

An organized round of showers and storms is possible Sunday night with the approach of an upper trough; those storms could pack a punch.

NEXT WEEK: Showers and storms should end pretty early Monday morning, and for now the weather looks mostly dry Tuesday through Thursday with highs well up in the 70s.

LATE-SEASON FREEZE: Here are some lows from around Alabama this morning:

  • Black Creek — 26
  • Millport — 27
  • Hamilton — 28
  • Haleyville — 30
  • Gadsden — 31
  • Addison — 31
  • Coker — 31
  • Grayson Valley — 31
  • Birmingham — 32
  • Arley — 32
  • Heflin — 33
  • Weaver — 34
  • Jemison — 35

ON THIS DATE IN 1960: The first weather satellite, TIROS 1 (Television and Infra-Red Observation Satellite) began sending pictures back to Earth. The TIROS series would have little benefit to operational weather forecasters because the image quality was low and inconsistent. The most critical understanding achieved from the new technology was the discovery of the high degree of organization of large-scale weather systems, a fact never apparent from ground and aircraft observations.

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