James Spann: Cold, wet day for Alabama; drier Friday

James Spann has the forecast for another wet Thursday in Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

SOAKER: Rain is widespread across Alabama early this morning and will cover pretty much all of the state at times today as a wave of low pressure moves along a stalled front near the Gulf Coast. A flash flood watch is in effect for parts of central and south Alabama, where rain amounts will be around 1 inch today. Amounts for north Alabama will be one-half inch to 1 inch.

This will be a cold rain; temperatures will drop slowly through the 40s over north and central Alabama as the rain falls. So there will be no risk of severe storms and no thunder in a cold, stable air mass. Some places near the Tennessee state line could actually see some snow mixed with the rain later today as cold air continues to drop southward, but no impact is expected. The best chance of getting some snow accumulation will be over eastern Tennessee and into much of North Carolina and southern Virginia, where winter weather advisories are in effect.

Rain will end from west to east this afternoon, and the sky will clear tonight as a nice surge of dry air rolls into the state. Look for sunshine back in full force on Friday; we start the day with a low in the upper 20s, followed by a high between 47 and 50 degrees.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Dry weather continues over the weekend. Saturday will be another sunny day with a cold start. The morning low will be in the 25- to 32-degree range, but temperatures rise into the upper 50s by afternoon. On Sunday, we expect a partly sunny sky with a high in the low 60s. Clouds increase Sunday night, and showers could arrive after midnight.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cloudy with occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm, with a high in the low 60s. The best chance of rain Tuesday will shift down into south Alabama; otherwise the day should be mostly cloudy with a high in the upper 50s. On Wednesday, a surge of colder air arrives with some risk of light rain; the high will drop into the mid to upper 40s. Thursday and Friday look dry with cool days and cold nights.

Data from the Climate Prediction Center continues to suggest below-average temperatures will continue across Alabama into early March.

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK: This is severe weather awareness week in Alabama. As we get ready for the spring tornado season, now is a good time to think about how you get warnings and your severe weather plan. Every Alabama home and business needs a properly programmed NOAA Weather Radio with fresh backup batteries. Be sure Wireless Emergency Alerts are enabled on your phone. And know where you are going. In a site-built home, that is a small room on the lowest floor, near the center and away from windows. In that safe place have helmets for everyone in the family. If you live in a mobile home, you have to get out; know the location of the nearest shelter.

ON THIS DATE IN 1912: An F3 tornado killed nine people and injured 50 others as it crossed Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Centenary College would be hit again in 1940.

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