James Spann: A few showers, flurries likely for north Alabama Friday

CLOUDLESS: Nothing but sunshine across Alabama this afternoon. Temperatures remain well below average, with highs mostly in the mid to upper 40s on the maps at mid-afternoon. Tonight will be clear with a low between 30 and 35 degrees for most communities.

FRIDAY: A series of waves coning down the back side of the upper trough on the U.S. East Coast will bring two chances for showers or flurries for north Alabama. The first opportunity comes Friday morning; a mix of light rain and light snow is likely over the northeast corner of the state. Moisture will be very limited and precipitation amounts will be light.

Another chance of light rain or snow flurries comes Friday night over the northern quarter of the state, but again most places won’t see enough to measure. A few snow flurries could linger into very early Saturday morning over northeast Alabama.

The high Friday will be in the mid 50s with a mix of sun and clouds.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Dry air means a good supply of sunshine both Saturday and Sunday with a warming trend. The high will be in the upper 50s Saturday, followed by upper 60s Sunday. Morning lows will be in the 30s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday will be mostly cloudy and mild with a chance of scattered showers both days, mainly over the northern half of the state. The high Monday will be in the 67- to 71-degree range, followed low to mid 70s Tuesday. Then, we expect an organized batch of rain and thunderstorms Wednesday as a robust weather system moves in from the west. It is simply too early to know if this will bring a significant chance of severe storms.

The Storm Prediction Center has a risk defined in its outlook for areas just west of Alabama on Wednesday, but for now no risk is defined for our state. We will have much better clarity on the midweek system by the weekend.

Thursday and Friday of next week should be dry and pleasant with highs in the 60s.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total for the month is up to 13.26 inches. This will be the third-wettest February on record, behind February 1961 (17.67 inches) and February 1903 (15.86 inches).

ON THIS DATE IN 1999: A brief tornado, rated EF-2, occurred just northwest of Locust Fork in Blount County. The tornado crossed County Road 13 moving north. Other wind damage was reported in more than eight counties as a strong line of storms rolled through the state. Most of the damage was caused by straight-line winds.

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