James Spann: Clouds, some rain return to Alabama later today

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for Thursday through the weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

MORE CHANGES AHEAD: After a sunny start, clouds will increase across Alabama today, and some rain is possible over the eastern and southern counties of the state by afternoon and tonight. The best chance of rain later today will be in areas south and east of Birmingham. The high today will be in the mid 50s, not far from average for Dec. 12.

Friday will be a cloudy, chilly and wet day with periods of rain and temperatures holding in the 40s much of the day for the northern half of the state as a wave of low pressure moves northeast out of the Gulf of Mexico. There’s no risk of severe storms and little, if any, thunder. Rain amounts of around one-half inch are likely over the next 36 hours.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Lingering clouds Saturday morning should give way to a partly sunny afternoon; the high will be in the low 60s. Then, on Sunday, the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with a high between 60 and 64 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: A rather dynamic weather system will bring rain and thunderstorms back into Alabama Monday and Monday night. New data from global models suggest an unstable air mass will be in place, with a high in the low 70s Monday afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has defined a risk of severe thunderstorms for parts of north and west Alabama in its severe weather outlook for Monday.

It is too early to define the specific threats and timing, but something to watch over the next few days.

Storms end late Monday night or early Tuesday, and much colder air moves into the state for midweek. Temperatures hold in the 40s all day Tuesday, and we drop into the 20s early Wednesday morning. The next rain-producing system for the state arrives by Friday or Saturday, Dec. 20-21.

RAIN UPDATE: Here are rain totals for the year so far, along with departure from average:

  • Mobile — 59.61 inches (deficiency of 3.25 inches)
  • Tuscaloosa — 57.74 (surplus of 7.86)
  • Huntsville — 54.71 (surplus of 3.95)
  • Anniston — 50.25 (surplus of 3.09)
  • Birmingham — 49.08 (deficiency of 1.96)
  • Montgomery — 42.53 (deficiency of 7.5)

ON THIS DATE IN 1967: From Dec. 12 through Dec. 20, a series of snowstorms buried Flagstaff, Arizona, with nearly 85 inches of snow.

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