James Spann: Rain returns to Alabama Saturday night

DRY AIR HAS RETURNED: Following the rain and storms of last night and early this morning, we now have a sunny sky over almost all of Alabama. There is a big temperature spread; many places have reached the 70s over the southern two-thirds of the state, but we are seeing 50s over the northwest counties of the state as colder air is pouring in. Tonight will be clear and colder; most places will drop into the 36- to 42-degree range early Thursday morning.

THANKSGIVING DAY/BLACK FRIDAY: The weather will be cool and dry both days; expect sunshine in fully supply Thursday with a high in the upper 50s; Friday will be partly sunny with a high in the low 60s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Clouds will increase Saturday ahead of the next storm system, and rain and thunderstorms will return to the state Saturday night and early Sunday. Models continue to suggest there will be little to no surface-based instability when the storms roll through, so for now the severe-weather threat looks very low. Rain amounts will be one-half inch to 1 inch, and the sky will clear during the day Sunday as drier air returns. The high Saturday will be in the upper 60s, but temperatures will most likely fall through the 50s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks very quiet with mostly sunny days and fair nights at least through Thursday. Temperatures will be seasonal, with cool days and chilly nights. A few showers are possible on Friday, Dec. 6, but for now it doesn’t look like a big rain event.

IRON BOWL: For the biggest game of the year in Alabama (2:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium), the sky will be mostly cloudy with a kickoff temperature in the upper 60s. It still looks like the rain arrives after the game is over, generally after 7 p.m. South winds during the game will average 10-18 mph.

OTHER FOOTBALL FORECASTS: For high school playoff games Friday night, the sky will be clear with temperatures falling through the 50s.

Saturday, UAB takes on North Texas at Apogee Stadium in Denton, Texas (3 p.m. Central kickoff). Showers are possible during the morning, but by kickoff the sky should be mostly sunny as dry air moves in. Temperatures will be close to 70 at kickoff, falling to near 60 by the final whistle.

ON THIS DATE IN 1898: A powerful storm known as the “Portland Gale” impacted the coastal areas of New England on Nov. 26-27, 1898. The storm formed when two areas of low pressures merged off the coast of New Jersey and traveled up the east coast. This storm produced hurricane-force winds in Nantucket and sank more than 150 boats and ships.

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