James Spann: Alabama stays dry through Thursday with mild afternoons

FINE FALL DAY: We have a cloudless sky across Alabama this afternoon. Temperatures are mostly in the 60s, although Tuscaloosa reached 70 degrees at mid-afternoon. Tonight will be clear and cool; the low early Wednesday will be in the 38- to 42-degree range for most places.

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: Dry weather continues with sunny, pleasant days and fair, chilly nights. The high will be in the mid 60s Wednesday and close to 70 Thursday.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Clouds will increase Friday, and rain will creep into far north Alabama by afternoon. But for most places, the best chance of rain will come from 6 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday. Some rain could linger over southeast Alabama through Saturday afternoon.

Rain amounts will be around 1 inch for north Alabama and less than one-half inch for the southern third of the state. Some thunder is possible, but severe storms are not expected with very little surface-based instability. The sky will clear Saturday night, and Sunday will be dry with a mostly sunny sky and a high around 60 degrees.

THANKSGIVING WEEK: Monday will be dry and pleasant; the latest global model data hints that rain will return to Alabama late Tuesday, Tuesday night and possibly into Wednesday morning. Thunderstorms will be possible, but at the moment odds of severe storms look fairly low. Dry weather is likely for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, along with seasonal temperatures (highs in the low 60s). It’s way too early for an Iron Bowl weather forecast; model consistency is not good.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Sebastien has formed in the Atlantic, northeast of the Leeward Islands. It has sustained winds of 45 mph, and is dealing with strong westerly shear; the center is exposed with the storms off to the east. The system is expected to move slowly northward over the open Atlantic in coming days, and will most likely dissipate by the end of the week. The hurricane season will end Nov. 30.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Rain is possible for the high school football playoff games over the northern half of Alabama Friday night with temperatures in the 60- to 65-degree range. The best chance of rain for the games Friday night will be north of I-20 (the northern third of the state).

Saturday, Alabama hosts Western Carolina (11 a.m. kickoff) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The sky will be mostly cloudy with temperatures rising from near 55 at kickoff to 60 degrees by the final whistle. Morning rain could linger into part of the first half; the rain should be over in Tuscaloosa by noon.

Auburn will host Samford Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). Rain looks likely for the game, although it could end at some point during the second half. Temperatures will be in the 50s.

UAB hosts Louisiana Tech Saturday at Legion Field (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The weather will be dry, although clouds will linger. We expect 60 degrees at kickoff and low to mid 50s by the end of the game.

Jacksonville State will host Eastern Kentucky Saturday (1 p.m. kickoff). No rain is expected, but the sky will be mostly cloudy. Temperatures will hover in the 55- to 60-degree range during the game.

ON THIS DATE IN 1930: An estimated EF4 tornado struck the town of Bethany, Oklahoma. Between 9:30 a.m. and 9:58 a.m., it moved north-northeast from three miles west of the Oklahoma City limits and hit the eastern part of Bethany. About 110 homes and 700 other buildings, about a fourth of the town, were damaged or destroyed. Near the end of the damage path, 3.5 miles northeast of Wiley Post Airfield, the tornado hit the Camel Creek School. Buildings blew apart just as the students were falling to the floor and looking for shelter, and five students and a teacher were killed. A total of 23 people were killed and an additional 150 injured, with 77 being seriously injured.

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