James Spann: Blue sky and sunshine for Alabama

A CHANCE TO DRY OUT: A cold, dry air mass covers Alabama this morning. Temperatures are below freezing over the northern third of the state; some spots are in the mid 20s. We expect sunshine in full supply today with a high between 48 and 51 degrees for most north and central Alabama communities. Tonight will be fair and cold again; we will see another freeze early Saturday morning.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Sunny weather continues Saturday; temperatures will rise into the 57- to 60-degree range. Clouds increase Saturday night and we hold above freezing early Sunday. During the day Sunday high clouds will be in place, but the northern half of the state will most likely stay dry with a high at or just above 60 degrees. Some light rain is possible over the southern half of the state, but even there amounts should be less than one-tenth of an inch.

NEXT WEEK: We won’t see much change Monday. A few showers are possible over south Alabama; the northern counties look dry and mild, with a high in the 60s. Rain becomes likely at times Tuesday through Thursday morning as a cold front moves into Alabama and becomes nearly stationary. For now severe storms don’t look likely, and we project rain amounts between 1 and 2 inches for the northern two-thirds of the state. Drier air returns Thursday night and Friday.

ON THIS DATE IN 1960: A snowstorm on Feb. 13-14 produced 10.3 inches of snow in Vernon and 13.5 inches in Haleyville.

ON THIS DATE IN 1990: Valentine’s Day was a snowy one for many parts of Iowa and Illinois. Five to 10 inches of snow fell across Iowa. Six to 12 inches  blanketed northern Illinois, and strong northeasterly winds accompanied the heavy snow. Air traffic came to a halt during the evening at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, where 9.7 inches of snow was reported. More than 250 traffic accidents were reported around Des Moines, Iowa, during the evening rush hour. An ice storm glazed east central sections of Illinois, causing $12 million damage in Champaign County alone.

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