James Spann: Showers, storms return to Alabama Saturday night

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for Black Friday and a weekend preview from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRY WEATHER CONTINUES TODAY: While the western half of the U.S. is impacted by a complex storm system, Alabama’s weather stays dry today. With a mix of sun and clouds, we project a high between 62 and 65 degrees this afternoon. The average high for Nov. 29 at Birmingham is 60. Clouds will thicken tonight.

RAIN RETURNS: The day Saturday should be mostly dry for the state, although a few showers are possible over the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama by afternoon. The sky will be mostly cloudy and the afternoon will be mild, with a high around 70 degrees. An approaching cold front will bring a band of rain, along with a few thunderstorms, Saturday night. The Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe storms for parts of west Alabama.

This is much like the system that passed through the state Tuesday night; dynamics are impressive, but there is little to no surface-based instability. Heavier storms Saturday night could produce strong, gusty winds, and there is a low chance of a brief, isolated tornado. But the overall severe weather threat is low. Heavier storms for the northern half of the state will come from 7 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Sunday, and rain amounts should be less than 1 inch for most communities.

The sky will become partly sunny Sunday with a high in the 60s as dry air returns quickly.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be dry and colder; the high will be in the upper 40s, and by early Tuesday subfreezing temperatures are likely. The rest of the week looks cool and dry, although a few showers could return by Friday, Dec. 6. 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 partly to mostly cloudy with a kickoff temperature near 70 degrees. Rain arrives well after the completion of the game, generally after midnight in Lee County. South winds during the game will average 7-14 mph.

OTHER FOOTBALL FORECASTS: For high school playoff games tonight, the sky will be clear with temperatures falling through the 50s and no risk of rain.

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 2016: More than a dozen tornadoes touched down across Alabama; one was an EF-3 that moved through Jackson and DeKalb counties, killing three in a mobile home in the Rosalie community of Jackson County. Six people were injured by the same tornado in Ider.

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