James Spann: Rain returns to Alabama before the week is over

HIGH CLOUDS: A band of mid- to high-level clouds, 15,000 to 25,000 feet off the ground, is moving over Alabama this afternoon, but the low levels are dry, and there is no rain on radar despite a deep upper trough moving through. High clouds will linger tonight, and we expect a low between 38 and 42 degrees early Tuesday.

TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY: The midweek period will be dry with pleasant days and cool nights. The high will be in the mid 60s Tuesday and close to 70 degrees Wednesday and Thursday. The sky each day will be partly to mostly sunny, very pleasant fall weather.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Clouds return Friday, and we will forecast a good chance of rain for the northern half of Alabama by Friday afternoon as a cold front approaches. A wave of low pressure moves along the front Friday night, and by then rain should be widespread statewide. Some thunder is possible, but severe storms are not expected. The rain will end early in the day Saturday as the front moves on to the east and drier air returns.

The main window for rain for now is from noon Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday. Rain amounts over north Alabama will be in the 1- to 2-inch range, with amounts of one-half inch to 1 inch for the southern counties of the state.

For now, a decent part of the day Saturday looks rain-free, and we could see some clearing by afternoon. The day will be cooler with a high in the mid 50s. Then, for Sunday, expect sunshine in full supply with a high around 60 degrees.

THANKSGIVING WEEK: Monday looks dry, but a storm system will bring rain, and potentially a few thunderstorms, back to the state by late Tuesday, Tuesday night and part of the day Wednesday. Then, the weather looks dry with seasonal temperatures for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. But, remember, this is still more than seven days away, and the forecast can and probably will change.

TROPICS: The National Hurricane Center still gives the disturbance east of the Leeward Islands a 50/50 chance of development over the next five days. It will move north through the open Atlantic and seems to be no threat to land.

ON THIS DATE IN 1957: A tornado moved through the Birmingham metro area, killing one person and injuring 25. After touching down in Ensley, the tornado proceeded northeast through the Pratt area and North Birmingham and eventually into Tarrant. Many homes between 22nd and 24th streets on 35th and 36th Avenues North were damaged, with numerous large trees down around the area. The Birmingham Airport reported winds of 69 mph and reported the funnel just to the northwest. Damage in Tarrant was mainly to the industrial area. Nov. 17-18, 1957, were very active across the entire state of Alabama. An additional 13 tornadoes were reported statewide with several injuries and fatalities. Major damage was reported in Walker, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Blount and Marshall counties.

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