James Spann: Much cooler in Alabama today, with light rain at times

James Spann forecasts a cool ending for the Alabama work week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

COOLER, SOME LIGHT RAIN: A deep, cold-core upper low will move through Alabama today. Heavier thunderstorms over southeast Alabama are moving out of the state, but we will still forecast periods of light rain today. We might even hear of some small hail with light rain showers this afternoon because of the cold air aloft associated with the upper low. Temperatures won’t get out of the 50s today; the next time we have a day this cool will probably come in October.

To the east, there is a moderate risk (level 4 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms today for parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Lingering clouds Saturday morning will exit the state quickly, and we expect a sunny afternoon with a high in the mid 60s. Easter will feature sunshine in full supply; we start the day in the 40s, and the high will be in the upper 70s.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will be warm and dry Monday through Wednesday, with highs up in the low 80s. Then moisture levels rise, and we will have some risk of showers and storms by Thursday and Friday. Model consistency has not been good on the details of the new trough, and it remains to be seen if this system will bring a threat of strong or severe thunderstorms.

Confidence in the forecast for the following weekend (April 27-28) is not high, but a decent part of it should be dry.

LAST NIGHT’S EVENT: A mesoscale convective vortex rolled through northwest Alabama, knocking down hundreds of trees. As of early this morning Alabama Power reports 25,000 customers without service statewide. One person was killed; a 42-year-old woman died when a tree fell through her home at Wattsville, near Pell City in St. Clair County. A 10-year-old child was home at the time, but his injuries were very minor.

ON THIS DATE IN 2009: Several bands of severe thunderstorms developed across Alabama during the late afternoon and lasted into the evening. These thunderstorms produced 18 tornadoes, large hail and locally heavy rainfall.

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