James Spann: Dry and mild today, colder Wednesday for Alabama

James Spann forecasts a drier period beginning for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRIER DAY: With a mix of sun and clouds, we project a high in the upper 60s across north and central Alabama this afternoon. South Alabama will likely see low 70s today for a nice preview of spring. Any showers should be confined to the southeast counties of the state through tonight.

But Wednesday a cold front passes through, bringing clouds, cooler temperatures and a few showers. Rain amounts will be light and spotty, less than a tenth of an inch for most places. The high will be close to 50 degrees, and a brisk northwest wind will make it feel cooler following the front’s passage Wednesday afternoon.

FLURRIES? High-resolution models hint we might see a few snow flurries in the colder air over north Alabama Wednesday night, but moisture will be very limited and there will be no impact if a snowflake falls.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: These two days will be dry with cold mornings. Morning lows will be in the 28- to 32-degree range; the high will be close to 50 Thursday, followed by mid 50s Friday. Clouds will increase Friday night ahead of a disturbance riding down the back side of an upper trough over the eastern U.S.

This feature has potential to squeeze out a little light snow or snow flurries over the northeast corner of Alabama Friday night and very early Saturday morning. Again, the moisture will be limited and no significant impact is expected for now. But it is possible a few spots across higher terrain could get a “dusting” for a brief time.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Flurries over far northeast Alabama should end early in the day Saturday. Otherwise the day will be dry with a partly to mostly sunny sky and a high in the low 50s. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a very nice warm-up. After starting the day around freezing, the high Sunday afternoon will be in the low to mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Moisture levels rise early in the week. Monday and Tuesday will be mostly cloudy and mild with a chance of showers. We will be in the 60s Monday, and low 70s are likely Tuesday. A weather system will bring rain and possibly strong thunderstorms to the state Wednesday.

DRIER PATTERN: The quantitative precipitation forecast from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center for the next seven days (through Tuesday, March 3) is the driest we have seen this year for Alabama. Amounts over the northern half of the state are forecast to be less than a quarter of an inch, and much of south Alabama will be dry.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s official rain total for February so far is 13.12 inches. That makes 2020 the third-wettest February on record, behind February 1961 (17.67 inches) and February 1903 (15.86 inches). Current rain projections for the next seven days suggest February 2020 will most likely stay in third place.

ON THIS DATE IN 1934: An outbreak of six tornadoes killed 19 in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Hardest hit was Bowden, Georgia, and Shady Grove, Alabama. One home in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, was picked up, thrown 400 feet and blown to bits. Six family members were killed in the house.

ON THIS DATE IN 2015: Many Alabamians experienced one of the largest snow storms on record as more than 12 inches of snow was unofficially measured along the Highway 278 corridor in Marion County. In addition, much of the northern two-thirds of the state saw snow during the afternoon and evening, with totals of 1-2 inches near Interstate 20 increasing to 5-12 inches farther north to the Tennessee state line. The highest unofficial measurement came from Guin, Alabama, with 12.7 inches. Most of central Alabama was disappointed as only rain fell.

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