James Spann: Just like spring in Alabama

SPRING PREVIEW: Temperatures are around 70 degrees over much of Alabama this afternoon; the average high for Birmingham on Feb. 3 is 56. The record high for the date is 80, set in 1990. Birmingham reported 73 degrees at 3 p.m.; this ties the warmest temperature recorded in 2020 (we also hit 73 on Jan. 11). The sky is mostly sunny, but clouds will increase tonight as moisture begins to return to the state.

Tuesday will be mostly cloudy, mild and breezy with the risk of showers, but it won’t rain all day and amounts should be fairly light. The high will be in the 67- to 71-degree range.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL WEDNESDAY: A dynamic weather system will bring rain and thunderstorms to Alabama Wednesday and Wednesday night. With some surface-based instability available and relatively strong wind fields, a few storms could be strong to severe from noon until midnight. For now, the better severe weather parameters are lined up over south Alabama, where the Storm Prediction Center maintains a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) for areas south of a line from Grove Hill to Fort Deposit to Troy to Abbeville. A marginal risk (level 1 of 5) extends as far north as Cullman.

Some of the storms Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night could produce strong, gusty winds and small hail, and a brief tornado or two can’t be ruled out. The temperatures will be mild again, with a high in the low 70s.

Thursday will be cloudy and cooler with periods of mostly light rain. Rain amounts Tuesday through Thursday will be in the 2- to 3-inch range; some localized flooding issues could crop up, mainly late Wednesday and Wednesday night with the heavier thunderstorms.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: For now Friday looks dry; with a mix of sun and clouds we are forecasting a high in the mid 50s. A passing disturbance could squeeze out some scattered light rain Saturday; otherwise the day will be mostly cloudy with a high in the 55- to 58-degree range. Sunday promises to be a delightful day with ample sunshine and a high in the low to mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will be dry Monday with a high in the 60s. Clouds increase Tuesday, and some rain is possible by Wednesday and Thursday with the next weather system approaching from the west; it’s too early to know if strong storms will be involved. Cooler, drier air returns late in the week. There’s still no sign of bitterly cold Arctic air for Alabama and the Deep South for the next seven to 10 days.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: Our annual storm spotter training is this Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Hoover Met. It begins at 9:30 and there is no cost. We will offer both the basic and advanced training sessions; we expect to wrap up by 2:30. No need to register; just show up with a curious mind. We need more trained storm spotters. Help us make the warning process better.

ON THIS DATE IN 1947: The record-low temperature for continental North America was recorded in Snag, in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The temperature was 81.4 degrees below zero.

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For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.

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