James Spann: Rain at times for Alabama today, strong to severe storms Monday

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

CLOUDY, DAMP WEATHER: Today will be a cloudy, cool day across Alabama with periods of mostly light rain as a wave of low pressure passes through. The most widespread rain will come over the eastern and southern counties of the state, and even there amounts should be around one-half inch or less for most places. Temperatures will hold in the 40s over north Alabama today, with 50s and low 60s for south Alabama. There’s no risk of severe storms and probably very little thunder. Rain will taper off tonight.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Clouds will linger Saturday morning, and we will mention the risk of a few showers over the northern third of the state as the upper trough passes through. Some sun could break through Saturday afternoon thanks to subsidence on the back side of the departing trough; the high will be in the 55- to 60-degree range for most communities. On Sunday, the sky will be partly sunny with a high in the 60s.

STORMY MONDAY: The next weather system will bring rain back to Alabama Monday afternoon into Monday night, along with the threat of strong thunderstorms. The Storm Prediction Center has a decent part of the state in a severe weather risk area Monday.

Temperatures will likely reach the low 70s Monday afternoon, along with dew points near 60, making for an unstable air mass. For now it looks like the main window for severe storms will come from about 3 p.m. until midnight, with the higher risk levels over the northern and western part of the state. Heavier storms could produce strong, possibly damaging winds, hail and even a few tornadoes. We will be much more specific about the threat as we get closer to the event.

Rain ends after midnight Monday night, and Tuesday will be much colder with lingering clouds; temperatures hold in the 40s most of the day. We will be dry Wednesday and Thursday with sunny, cool days and clear, cold nights. Morning lows will be well down in the 20s; the high will be in the mid to upper 40s Wednesday, followed by low 50s Thursday. Clouds will increase Friday, and rain returns to the state by Friday night and Saturday, Dec. 21.

ON THIS DATE IN 1997: A freak cold snap and snowstorm that struck parts of northern Mexico left 12 people dead and the area paralyzed. It snowed in the city of Guadalajara for the first time since 1881, leaving amazed residents to gawk at the white stuff and make snowmen. The temperature plunged to 5 degrees in Chihuahua.

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