James Spann: Alabama dry through midweek; rain returns Friday

James Spann forecasts a dry, pleasant Tuesday for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRIER AIR RETURNS: Radar shows the last batch of showers over far east and southeast Alabama early this morning; that rain is rapidly moving into Georgia, and dry air will take over. We are projecting some delightful autumn weather through Thursday with sunny, pleasant days and clear, chilly nights. Highs will be in the low 70s today and Wednesday, followed by mid 70s Thursday. Lows will be well down in the 40s, with 30s possible for colder spots.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We are still dealing with “model madness” this morning, meaning a very low-confidence forecast for these three days. The American global model (GFS) brings in rain Friday, followed by a relatively dry weekend, while the European global model (ECMWF) holds off the main rain event until Sunday, with much of the day Friday and Saturday dry. It is all about how the models handle an upper trough that will develop west of our state late this week.

We will lean in the direction of the European model for now, and mention some risk of rain at times Friday and Saturday, followed by a good chance of showers and possibly a few thunderstorms Sunday. But this can and probably will change as we get closer to the weekend. If you have a big outdoor event planned, I would not change any plans right now, but keep a close eye on the forecast updates in coming days.

NEXT WEEK: Uncertainty continues into next week. But a cold front will bring some risk of rain during the first half of the week, followed by much cooler air by Thursday and Friday.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Remember, these forecasts are very low confidence because of the issues mentioned above. For the high school games Friday night, the sky will be cloudy with some risk of light rain; temperatures will be in the 60- to 65-degree range.

For Saturday’s Magic City Classic at Legion Field in Birmingham (Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M, 2:30 p.m. kickoff), the sky will be mostly cloudy, and some light rain can’t be ruled out during the day, but no washout. The kickoff temperature will be near 65 degrees, falling into the low 60s by the final whistle.

Auburn travels to Baton Rouge Saturday to take on LSU (kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Central). For now we are forecasting a mix of sun and clouds, with a passing shower possible during the game. Temperatures will fall from the upper 60s at kickoff into the mid 60s by the fourth quarter.

It is homecoming at the University of Alabama Saturday; the Tide will host Arkansas at Bryant-Denny Stadium (6 p.m. kickoff). Look for a mostly cloudy sky; a little light rain can’t be ruled out, and temperatures will fall from the low 60s at kickoff into the upper 50s by the final whistle.

Jacksonville State will host Murray State Saturday (3 p.m. kickoff). Mostly cloudy conditions are expected with the chance of a shower during the game; temperatures will be in the low to mid 60s.

ON THIS DATE IN 1998: Tropical Depression 13 formed on Oct. 22 over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. By Oct. 24, this tropical depression became Hurricane Mitch. This hurricane would rapidly intensify over the next two days, reaching Category 5 strength on Oct.26. Hurricane Mitch would end up being the second-deadliest hurricane in the history of the Atlantic Ocean.

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