James Spann: Periods of rain, some thunder for Alabama

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for another rainy February day from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WET AGAIN: Birmingham’s rain total for February is 9.2 inches, and we should go above 10 inches by Wednesday morning as rain returns to the state. Look for a cloudy, mild day today with periods of rain and a few thunderstorms. A flash flood watch is in effect for much of central Alabama because of the saturated soil conditions.

On the positive side, no severe thunderstorms are expected through tonight, although temperatures will reach the 65- to 70-degree range this afternoon. Rain continues tonight, but it will taper off early Wednesday morning as a surface front pushes into south Alabama. A decent part of Wednesday will be dry; the sky will be mostly cloudy with a high back in the 50s.

Then a wave of low pressure moves along the stalled front and rain becomes widespread again on Thursday. This will be a cold rain, with temperatures holding in the 40s over the northern half of the state. There is actually some risk of a few patches of snow or sleet over far north Alabama early Thursday morning as the precipitation begins; if that happens, for now we are not expecting any impact with surface temperatures above freezing.

Rain will end from west to east Thursday evening as dry air pushes into the state. Rain amounts between now and Thursday night will be in the 2- to 3-inch range for much of north and central Alabama.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Friday and Saturday will be dry with cold mornings; early morning lows will be in the 28- to 32-degree range. With sunshine in full supply, the high will be close to 50 Friday, followed by upper 50s Saturday. Clouds will increase Sunday, and rain returns to the state Sunday night.

NEXT WEEK: Rain will end Monday morning, but more is likely by Wednesday as the active pattern continues.

RIVER FLOODING: The Tombigbee River at Demopolis was at 85.2 feet early this morning; the flood state there is 68 feet. Levels will slowly begin to fall after today as the crest moves downstream.

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: A thunderstorm spawned an unusually strong F4 tornado for so far north for the time of the year in southern Van Wert County in Ohio. The tornado touched down just west of U.S. Route 127 and traveled northeastward for about 3 miles. One house was completely leveled, and nine others severely damaged. Six people were injured.

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