James Spann: Showers for Alabama Saturday, much colder Sunday/Monday

RADAR CHECK: Most of Alabama is dry this afternoon, although we do note some light rain over Pickens and Lamar counties of west Alabama. The sky is partly sunny over the eastern part of the state, and temperatures are between 55 and 62 over north Alabama, with low 70s to the south. Tonight will be mostly cloudy; temperatures will drop into the upper 30s over the northern counties of the state.

Friday will be mostly cloudy, but rain should be very hard to find. The high will be in the upper 50s over north Alabama, with 60s to the south.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A cold front will pass through the state Saturday, but this time we have no risk of severe storms and probably no thunder with a stable air mass in place. Rain amounts should be light — less than one-half inch. It looks like the best chance for rain Saturday comes in the window from roughly 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The high will be in the 57- to 61-degree range before the front arrives.

On Sunday the sky becomes sunny and the day will be colder, with a high in the mid 40s. By Monday morning, we are expecting lows in the low 20s over north and central Alabama as the coldest air since mid-November arrives.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will be cold and dry Monday through Wednesday. The high will be in the 38- to 42-degree range Monday and in the low 40s Tuesday. It still looks like the coldest morning will come early Tuesday; we project temperatures between 17 and 24 degrees. A warming trend begins Wednesday, when temperatures reach the low 50s. Clouds will increase Thursday and rain will return to the state on Friday, Jan. 24. The air will be too warm for any snow or ice and too cold for severe thunderstorms.

WET START: Birmingham’s rain total so far this year is 5.94 inches, which is 3.73 inches above average. The total since Dec. 1 is 11.03 inches.

ON THIS DATE IN 2018: A winter storm brought 2 to 4 inches of snow to parts of north and central Alabama. The most significant travel impacts were along and either side of the I-85 corridor and along a stretch of I-65 in Chilton and Autauga counties, where ice-covered roadways resulted in road closures and stuck vehicles. Elsewhere, icy roadways were reported as well, though lighter snow totals and blowing of snow from road surfaces helped limit the overall scope of impacts.

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