James Spann: One more dry day before rain returns to Alabama

SUNNY DECEMBER AFTERNOON: Temperatures are mostly in the low 60s across north and central Alabama this afternoon with a good supply of sunshine. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low between 32 and 38 degrees. Thursday we will enjoy one more dry day with a partly sunny sky; the high will be in the mid to upper 60s. Clouds will thicken Thursday night.

RAIN RETURNS: Friday will be a cloudy, cool day with periods of rain statewide. Temperatures will hold in the 50s, meaning a stable air mass and no risk of severe thunderstorms, and probably little thunder. Rain amounts should be around one-half inch, and the rain will taper off by late afternoon and Friday evening.

For the weekend, a moist air mass will stay in place, but Saturday should be a mostly dry day with only isolated showers. The sky will feature more clouds than sun, and the high will be in the low 60s. A few scattered showers are possible Sunday, but again nothing too widespread or heavy. Temperatures will rise into the mid 60s Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front will bring rain and a few thunderstorms to Alabama early in the week; for now it looks like the most widespread rain will come late Monday, Monday night and early Tuesday. Tuesday will be windy and much colder, with temperatures falling into the 40s, and by daybreak Wednesday we could see lows in the teens across the colder pockets of north Alabama. Some rain could return around Friday, Dec. 13.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the “Super 7” high school state championship games at Auburn, tonight will be dry and cool for the 7A Thompson/Central (Phenix City) game, with temperatures falling from the 50s at kickoff into the 40s by the second half. Dry weather is likely for the three games played Thursday and Thursday night (1A, 3A and 5A), but occasional rain is likely for the 2A and 4A games during the day Friday. There’s a decent chance the rain will be over by Friday night’s 6A clash featuring Oxford and Spanish Fort.

Saturday, UAB travels to Boca Raton, Florida, to take on Florida Atlantic in the C-USA conference championship game (kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Central Time). The sky will be sunny with a kickoff temperature near 77 degrees, falling into the low 70s by the fourth quarter.

ON THIS DATE IN 1952: December started off with chilly temperatures in London. This cold resulted in Londoners burning more coal to heat their homes. On Dec. 5, a high pressure settled over the Thames River, causing a dense layer of smog to develop. The smog became so thick and dense by Dec. 7 that virtually no sunlight was seen in London. Most conservative estimates place the death toll at 4,000, with some estimating the smog killed as many as 8,000 people.

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