James Spann: Sunshine returns to Alabama Friday, Saturday

RAIN IS OVER, CLOUDS LINGER: Rain has moved out of Alabama this afternoon, but clouds linger. Temperatures have been falling and we are seeing mostly 40s now over the northern half of the state, with 50s over south Alabama.

The sky becomes clear across the state tonight, and we drop into the 25- to 30-degree range by daybreak.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Look for sunshine in full supply Friday and Saturday. The high will be around 50 degrees Friday and between 57 and 60 Saturday afternoon. High clouds will increase Sunday, but the day will be dry with a high in the low 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday looks mild and generally dry; with a mix of sun and clouds temperatures rise into the mid to upper 60s. Showers move back into the state Tuesday ahead of a cold front; some places could touch 70 degrees Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday will be colder with periods of rain, especially during the morning. The weather trends drier Thursday and Friday.

RAIN UPDATE: Here are some rain totals so far this year, and the departure from average:

  • Tuscaloosa — 17.84 inches (10.29 inches above average)
  • Birmingham — 16.67 (9.94 above)
  • Muscle Shoals — 16.44 (9.88 above)
  • Anniston — 15.84 (9.22 above)
  • Huntsville — 14.96 (8.06 above)
  • Montgomery — 10.34 (3.45 above)
  • Mobile — 6.9 (0.94 inch below average)

ON THIS DATE IN 1899: Birmingham dropped to 10 degrees below zero, the coldest temperature on record for the city. At the time observations for Birmingham were taken at the old U.S. Weather Bureau office in Fountain Heights. Other Alabama lows that cold morning: minus 7 in Tuscaloosa, Elba and Opelika; minus 5 in Greensboro; minus 11 in Florence; minus 12 in Decatur; minus 15 in Oneonta; minus 16 in Hamilton and Scottsboro, and minus 18 in Valley Head. Greensboro had 5 inches of snow on the ground.

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