James Spann: Record cold likely tonight across Alabama

SUNNY, BUT COLD: Morning clouds gave way to a bright, sunny afternoon across Alabama, but the weather remains windy and amazingly cold for mid-November. Temperatures are generally in the 30- to 35-degree range; the average high for Birmingham on Nov. 12 is 67. A strong north wind is keeping wind chill indices in the 20s.

Tonight the wind will die down, and temperatures will drop into the 18- to 24-degree range for most north and central Alabama communities early Wednesday. Record lows are likely for most reporting stations; here are the records for Nov. 13:

  • Huntsville — 16 (1911)
  • Birmingham — 22 (1911)
  • Tuscaloosa — 22 (1968)
  • Anniston — 24 (1968)
  • Montgomery — 24 (1968)
  • Mobile — 31 (1911)

The day will be sunny, and the high will be close to 50 as a warming trend begins.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Clouds will increase Thursday, and some light rain is possible Thursday night over the southern two-thirds of the state, mainly south of I-59, or south of a line from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Gadsden. Rain amounts will be less than one-half inch, and with a stable air mass there won’t be any thunderstorms. The rain ends very early Friday, and the sky becomes sunny during the day. The high will be in the low 50s both days.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The weather will be rain-free with sunny, cool days and fair, cold nights. The high will be in the mid 50s Saturday, followed by upper 50s Sunday. The early morning lows will be near freezing Saturday and in the mid 30s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: For the moment the week looks dry with highs rising into the low 60s, closer to average for mid to late November.

ON THIS DATE IN 1970: The deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded and one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times occurred in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The Bhola Cyclone first formed over the Bay of Bengal on Nov. 8 and traveled north. This cyclone reached peak intensity, Category 3, on Nov. 11 and made landfall on the coast of East Pakistan the following afternoon. The Bhola Cyclone killed an estimated 500,000 people and caused nearly $90 million in damage (in 1970 U.S. dollars).

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