James Spann: Wet weather returns to Alabama Friday

RAIN ON THE WAY: The sun is partly sunny across Alabama this afternoon with temperatures in the 60s; clouds will thicken tonight ahead of a weather system west of the state.

Friday will be a cloudy, cool day with periods of rain; temperatures hold in the 50s all day. There will be no risk of severe storms and probably not much thunder. Rain amounts over the northern half of the state will be around one-half inch, with lighter amounts for the southern counties. Rain tapers off by late afternoon, but some lingering light rain or drizzle could linger into Friday night.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be a mostly cloudy day, and a bit of light rain is possible in scattered spots, mainly during the morning. But most of the day will be dry. A cold air damming pattern looks to set up, meaning east Alabama could hold in the low to mid 50s all day, while west Alabama sees a high around 60 degrees. On Sunday the sky will remain mostly cloudy, but any showers should be few and far between. Sunday’s high will be in the low to mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible Monday, and rain and a few thunderstorms will become widespread Monday night into Tuesday morning. The rain will end during the day Tuesday and much colder air will roll into the state. Temperatures will likely fall into the 40s over the northern counties with a brisk north wind.

Wednesday and Thursday look dry with cold mornings; temperatures will drop into the 20s early Wednesday. Clouds increase Thursday night and rain returns Friday. The rain at the end of next week could be significant with a surface low moving out of the Gulf of Mexico and up into Alabama.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the 5A high school state championship game tonight at Auburn featuring Clay Central vs. Pleasant Grove, expect a partly cloudy sky with temperatures falling from the low 50s at kickoff into the 40s by the second half. There is no risk of rain. 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 12:30 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 1953: A tornado outbreak occurred over northeastern Louisiana, southeastern Arkansas and western Mississippi. At least four confirmed tornadoes touched down. The strongest tornado, rated F5, severely damaged the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. This tornado first touched down just west of the Mississippi River in East Madison Parish in Louisiana. The tornado crossed the river and tore through downtown Vicksburg. On the ground for seven miles, this tornado caused 38 deaths and 270 injuries, and cost an estimated $25 million in damages.

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