James Spann: Periods of rain today for Alabama, more early next week

James Spann has the Alabama forecast to close out the work week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WET AT TIMES: Today will be a cloudy, cool day across Alabama with periods of rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Temperatures will hold in the 50s over the northern half of the state today, so the air is stable and there is no risk of severe storms. The rain tapers off this afternoon, and tonight will be mostly dry with only isolated patches of light rain or drizzle. Rain amounts should be generally one-half inch or less over the next 12 hours.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: For now the weekend looks generally dry, but the sky will remain mostly cloudy Saturday and Sunday. An isolated shower can’t be ruled out both days, but odds of any one spot getting wet are 20% or less. A wedge of cooler air will keep highs in the 50s over east Alabama, with low 60s for the western two-thirds of the state.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible Monday, but rain becomes more widespread Monday night into at least part of the day Tuesday thanks to a cold front passing through the state. This system should bring rain amounts of one-half inch to 1 inch, and much colder air will roll into the state following the frontal passage Tuesday. Temperatures will likely fall through the 50s and 40s Tuesday, maybe even reaching the 30s over far north Alabama. There is an outside chance we could see a snow flake or two on the back side of the precipitation over far north Alabama, but there will be no impact if that happens.

Wednesday and Thursday will be dry with cool days and cold nights; subfreezing lows are likely. Clouds increase Friday, and a good rain event seems to be setting up for Friday night and Saturday, Dec. 13-14, as a surface low moves out of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the Super 7 high school state championship games at Auburn, occasional rain is likely for the 2A and 4A games today with temperatures in the 50s. There’s a decent chance the rain will be over by tonight’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.

HURRICANE SEASON WRAP: The 2019 hurricane season ended Nov. 30. Overall, the season featured above-normal activity. Eighteen named storms formed, of which six became hurricanes and three became major hurricanes – category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This compares to the long-term average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. There were also two tropical depressions that did not reach tropical-storm strength. In terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy, which measures the combined strength and duration of tropical storms and hurricanes, activity in the Atlantic basin in 2019 was well above the long-term mean.

ON THIS DATE IN 1983: During the early morning, an F3 tornado crossed through Selma. It developed near Alabama Highway 22 west of Selma and moved northeastward for 13 miles. At least 103 structures were damaged or destroyed along the path and 30-40 vehicles at a new car dealership were destroyed. Numerous units at the Rangedale Housing Project in Selma were demolished, where one person was killed. A dormitory at Selma University was struck by the twister; 50 students were occupying the dorm at the time. Seven students suffered minor injuries when the roof and parts of the second floor of their dorm was destroyed. Near the university, West Side Junior High School sustained damage, as well as several homes and a convenience store.

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