James Spann: Long-awaited cold front over north Alabama

James Spann forecasts a day of big changes in Alabama weather from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

RADAR CHECK: Widespread rain, with a few thunderstorms, is over north Alabama this morning along the long-awaited cold front pushing into the state. The front and the associated rain band will push southward today, keeping temperatures in the 70s all day over the northern half of the state. The heaviest rain will fall today north of I-59; amounts of one-half to 1 inch are likely, with heavier totals over the Tennessee Valley.

REST OF THE WEEK: Tuesday will feature a mix of sun and clouds along with a high around 80 degrees; the average high for Oct. 8 at Birmingham is 78. We will mention a few isolated showers over the eastern half of the state, but most of Alabama will be dry. Then, generally dry weather is likely Wednesday and Thursday; the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with highs between 81 and 85. Morning lows will be in the 60- to 65-degree range, with 50s for cooler pockets.

Clouds will increase Friday ahead of the next cold front, which could bring some rain to the state Friday night. For now it looks like rain will be fairly light (less than a quarter-inch).

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Another surge of cool, continental air will drop into Alabama over the weekend. Look for sunny, pleasant days and clear, cool nights Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the 70s and lows in the low 50s. Colder spots will drop down into the 40s Sunday morning.

NEXT WEEK: Dry, pleasant weather will continue for at least the first half of the week, with seasonal temperatures.

TROPICS: The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a disturbance in the central Atlantic; it has a medium chance of development, but it will move northeast, away from the U.S. The Gulf of Mexico is quiet.

OCT. 2 HIGH ADJUSTED: A change was made to one of the temperatures recorded at Birmingham on Oct. 2. The reported temperature of 103 was suspicious, and after further investigation National Weather Service Birmingham determined that the temperature was unreasonable. The one-minute data from the site showed a spike in temperature up to 106 over a 15-minute period around 1:30 in the afternoon. Removing this temperature, the highest observation in the afternoon then becomes 99 degrees. This new temperature of 99 degrees matches the trends from the several days leading up to Oct. 2 and blends well with sites across central Alabama on that day. The high of 99 degrees remains a record, breaking the old daily record maximum of 93 in 1904.

ON THIS DATE LAST YEAR: A tropical depression formed in the Caribbean; the next day it would become a hurricane, getting the name Michael. The hurricane strengthened rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico, reaching major hurricane status on Oct. 9. It would go on to make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane near Panama City Beach, Florida.

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