Scott Martin: A beautiful Leap Day in store for Alabama

BEAUTIFUL DAY: High pressure builds off to our southwest over the northern Gulf of Mexico, which will bring quiet weather to Alabama for your Saturday. We’ll start off with a few clouds, but those will exit quickly and skies will be sunny from late morning through sunset. Afternoon highs will top out in the lower 50s to the lower 60s from northeast to southwest.

DRY, A GOOD BIT WARMER SUNDAY: The high slides more toward the east coast of the Carolinas on Sunday, but we will remain dry throughout the day. Much of the day will be partly sunny, with clouds really increasing during the evening and late night. Highs across the state will range from the lower 60s in the northeast to the upper 60s in the southwest. Rain chances increase sharply between midnight and dawn Monday for north and northwestern Alabama.

CLOUDY MONDAY WITH SHOWERS LIKELY: We’ll have a good chance of showers for the northern half of the state Monday as a surface low develops over north-central Arkansas and moves northeast into southeastern Missouri. A few showers will be possible for the southern half of the state, but chances are much lower. Skies will be mainly cloudy even when it is not raining. Highs will be in the lower 60s to the lower 70s from north to south.

WET WEATHER TUESDAY: As the surface low continues to move away from us, another develops over southeastern Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon and will rapidly work across northwestern and north Alabama during the late evening. Rain will continue to be likely for the northwestern half of Alabama with chances increasing for the southeastern half. A few thunderstorms will be possible, but severe weather is not likely at this point. Highs will be in the upper 60s to the mid-70s.

STORMY WEDNESDAY: The threat for stronger to severe storms has really started to drop as a surface low moves across the southern half of Alabama before dawn Wednesday. It will take the cold front a little while to move through, so rain and thunderstorms will continue to be likely throughout the day. Some of those storms could be heavy, and we may see a few isolated flash-flooding issues. A strong storm with gusty winds may be possible, but storms should be elevated for the most part. Highs will be in the lower 60s to the lower 70s from northwest to southeast. Rainfall amounts look to range from 1.5 inches in the west and northwest to as much as 2.5 inches in the east and southeast. We’ll keep our eye on the models to see if any big changes occur, especially when the high-resolution models hit at the beginning of the week.

MUCH NICER THURSDAY: High pressure quickly builds back in on Thursday and skies will quickly clear out during the early morning. By the late morning, we should have close to maximum sunshine and temperatures will be really nice. Highs will range from the lower 60s in the northwest to the upper 60s in the southeast.

COOLER BUT STILL NICE ON FRIDAY: High pressure continues to dominate our weather and we’ll stick with mostly sunny skies and highs in the lower to mid-60s.

NWS BIRMINGHAM SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER TRAINING: The National Weather Service office in Birmingham will be offering several online Basic Spotter Courses and a single Advanced Spotter Course over the next few months. These online courses are free and are open to anyone who would like to learn more about what it takes to be a spotter and what to look for. More information can be found on the NWS Birmingham’s website.

BEACH FORECAST: Get the latest weather and rip current forecasts for the beaches from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to Panama City Beach, Florida, on our Beach Forecast Center page. There, you can select the forecast of the region you are interested in.

For more weather news and information from James Spann, Scott Martin and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.

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