James Spann: Rain today, with strong storms over south Alabama

James Spann forecasts a wet day for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WET: Beneficial rain will fall on much of Alabama today thanks to an upper wave interacting with a stalled surface front over south Alabama. The heaviest rain will fall over the southern two-thirds of the state, with 1-3 inches possible south of I-20. Amounts over the northern third of Alabama will be less than one-half inch. A few strong to severe storms are possible this afternoon over south Alabama; the Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe storms south of a line from Demopolis to Montgomery to Eufaula.

Rain will end from west to east late tonight, and any lingering showers will end early Wednesday morning. The sky becomes sunny by Wednesday afternoon with a high around 70 degrees.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will feature delightful autumn weather with sunny, pleasant days and clear, chilly nights. Morning lows will be in the 40- to 45-degree range, with 30s for colder spots. The high will be in the upper 60s Thursday, followed by low 70s Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Moist air returns to Alabama over the weekend. For now, it looks like the best chance of rain during the day Saturday will come over the southern half of the state, but rain becomes likely statewide Saturday night into at least part of the day Sunday. Another round of rain and storms is possible Monday of next week as an active pattern continues; more beneficial rain is likely for Alabama at times. Afternoon highs will be in the 75- to 80-degree range for the northern and central part of the state; low 80s are likely for south Alabama.

It is important to note that there are considerable differences in the global models concerning the timing of the rain this weekend. The forecast can and probably will change as we get closer to the weekend.

The air will become unstable by Sunday and Monday, and we could see some threat of strong, maybe even severe thunderstorms along the way. Again, it’s too early for specifics.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: A nice surge of cool, dry air settles in here during midweek.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Auburn travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on the Razorbacks Saturday (kickoff at 11 a.m. Central). The sky will be partly sunny, and there is an outside risk of a passing shower or thunderstorm during the game. The kickoff temperature will be near 68, rising into the low 70s by the second half.

Alabama will host Tennessee Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (kickoff at 8). The sky will be cloudy, and some rain is possible during the game. Temperatures will be in the 70s.

UAB hosts Old Dominion Saturday afternoon at Legion Field in Birmingham (3 p.m. kickoff). Clouds will increase during the game, but the chance of rain, for now, is low. The kickoff temperature will be near 77 degrees, falling back into the low 70s by the final whistle.

TROPICS: Tropical Depression 15, in the far eastern Atlantic, should become Tropical Storm Nestor during the next 24 hours, but it is expected to remain far from the U.S. and the Lesser Antilles.

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a tropical wave near Central America; it will move northward into the western Gulf of Mexico late this week. The NHC is giving it a 30% chance of development within five days; just something to watch for now. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

ON THIS DATE IN 1984: The Monday Night Football game in Denver was played in a raging blizzard. Fifteen inches of snow fell, with up to 34 inches reported in the nearby mountains. The Air Force Academy canceled classes for the first time in its recorded history.

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