James Spann: Sunny day for Alabama; rain returns late Friday into Saturday

James Spann has the midweek forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

AWESOME AUTUMN WEATHER: Today’s weather will be pretty much a copy of what we experienced Tuesday. Sunshine will be in full supply; after a chilly start we expect a high in the mid 60s this afternoon. Thursday will be dry as well; the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with a high between 67 and 70 degrees.

RAIN RETURNS: Clouds will increase Thursday night, and Friday will be a mostly cloudy and mild day with a high in the upper 60s. Rain will creep into the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama by afternoon, becoming more widespread over the northern half of the state Friday night. Models are a bit slower with the progression of the cold front, and now hold rain in Alabama a decent part of the day Saturday.

The main window for rain across north and central Alabama now comes from 6 p.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Saturday. Of course, it won’t rain for that entire 24-hour period, but there will be periods of rain, and possibly some thunder. There’s no risk of severe weather with very little surface-based instability. Rain amounts of 1 inch are likely for much of the state; some heavier totals are possible over the northern counties. Temperatures will hold in the 60s most of the day Saturday.

The sky will clear early Sunday, and the daytime will feature a partly sunny sky with a high in the low 60s.

THANKSGIVING WEEK: Monday will be a dry day with ample sunshine and a high in the low 60s. Clouds increase Tuesday, and rain is likely Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. This system will deliver about 1 inch of rain to the state, and while thunder is possible, for now it looks like severe storms won’t be an issue. Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday look dry with seasonal temperatures — highs in the low 60s. It’s too early for an Iron Bowl forecast; model consistency is not good at this point.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Sebastien, in the Atlantic northeast of the Leeward Islands, is packing sustained winds of 50 mph and is moving northeast. It will stay far from land and should become post-tropical by the weekend. The hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Rain is likely for the high school playoff games Friday night over the northern third of the state (north of Birmingham). Temperatures will be in the 60s.

Saturday, Alabama hosts Western Carolina (11 a.m. kickoff) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Rain is possible during the beginning of the game, mainly during the first quarter. Temperatures will rise from near 65 at kickoff into the upper 60s by the final whistle.

Auburn will host Samford Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). Rain is likely with temperatures in the mid 60s.

UAB hosts Louisiana Tech Saturday at Legion Field (2:30 p.m. kickoff). Rain will end about the time the game begins; the sky will be cloudy with a kickoff temperature near 67 degrees, falling back into the low 60s by the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville State will host Eastern Kentucky Saturday (1 p.m. kickoff). Rain is possible if not likely, mainly during the first half. The sky will be cloudy with temperatures in the 60s.

ON THIS DATE IN 1985: Kate intensified to a major Category 3 hurricane as she moved west of Key West, Florida, with top winds of 115 mph and a minimum central pressure of 954 millibars or 28.17 inches of mercury. The next day Kate made landfall between Panama City and Apalachicola. Tides ran 8 to 10 feet above normal. Many power poles and lines were downed. Several roads were washed out.

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