James Spann: Rain returns to Alabama late Thursday

COOL, DRY DAY: Temperatures are mostly in the 58- to 64-degree range over the northern half of the state, and the sky is generally cloudy (although some spots are seeing sunshine). Clouds will linger over much of the state tonight, and a few sprinkles are possible over southeast Alabama, but most places will stay dry.

Look for a partly sunny sky Tuesday with a high in the upper 60s, and we reach the low 70s Wednesday with a good supply of sunshine.

RAIN RETURNS: Clouds move back into the state Thursday ahead of a cold front, and rain is likely late in the day and into Thursday night. There will be no severe weather threat and probably no thunder. Rain amounts for most places will be in the one-half-inch to 1-inch range. For now, it looks like the main window for rain will come from 4 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Friday.

The sky will clear late Friday and Friday night as a new surge of cool, dry air moves into the state.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We are forecasting sunny, cool days and fair, cold nights. We will be in the 30- to 35-degree range early Saturday, followed by a high between 55 and 60. Sunday will be a sunny day with a high in the low to mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Another cold front arrives Monday. Moisture will be very limited, and we won’t expect anything other than sprinkles. Then, another surge of cold air arrives for midweek; many places will be in the 20s by Tuesday morning. Temperatures should remain below average through mid-November for the eastern half of the U.S., meaning no severe weather problems for Alabama.

TROPICS: The hurricane season runs through the end of November, but typically things are pretty quiet this month as sea surface temperatures come down. There’s no sign of any tropical storm formation this week.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The biggest college football game of the year is Saturday in Tuscaloosa; Alabama will host LSU (2:30 p.m. kickoff) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The weather will be perfect for football — cool and dry. The temperature will be around 58 at kickoff, falling into the low 50s by the final whistle. The sun will set at 4:52 p.m. in Tuscaloosa Saturday.

ON THIS DATE IN 1935: Called the Yankee Hurricane, a Category 2 storm affected the Bahamas and South Florida. This storm remains the only tropical cyclone to hit Miami from the northeast in November.

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