STILL MILD: We are forecasting a high around 70 degrees this afternoon; the average high at Birmingham on Jan. 15 is 54. The radar is quiet this morning, but a few showers and storms will likely form over the northern half of the state this afternoon. The rain won’t be as widespread as it was Tuesday, but a few heavier storms are possible. The Storm Prediction Center has about the northern quarter of the state in a low-end, marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe storms. Stronger storms could produce small hail and gusty winds, but the overall threat remains low.
THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Cooler, drier air moves into the state Thursday; the sky becomes partly sunny with a high between 57 and 60 degrees. Any showers will be confined to areas near the Gulf Coast. On Friday, the day also looks generally dry with a high in the upper 50s. Clouds will increase Friday during the day.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A cold front will bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday, but this time we are not expecting any severe weather, with very limited instability and weaker dynamics. After a high in the low 60s Saturday, colder air blows into the state Sunday. The sky becomes mostly sunny Sunday, but the high will be in the upper 40s with a brisk north wind. We go well below freezing late Sunday night, and by daybreak Monday look for a low between 20 and 23 degrees.
MUCH COLDER NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday will be sunny and very cold; highs will be in the 36- to 42-degree range for the northern half of the state. The low early Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will be in the 17- to 23-degree range. This is the coldest air we have seen since mid-November, when we dealt with record cold across the Deep South. We warm up slowly late in the week, and global models suggest some risk of light rain by Friday, Jan. 24.
BRUTAL COLD UP NORTH: Williston, North Dakota, had dropped to 20 degrees below zero just before daybreak this morning, with a wind-chill index of 42 below zero. This is part of a seriously cold air mass that covers much of Canada; some of this will break away and down into the eastern and southern U.S. in four to six days.
ON THIS DATE IN 1967: The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. From the weather station at the USC campus in downtown LA, the high temperature was 79 degrees and the low was 51. There was a light west wind.
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