James Spann: Alabama gets a chance to dry out

CLEARING SKY: The sun is shining brightly over northwest Alabama this afternoon as dry air moves into the state. Some light rain is lingering over far east Alabama, but that will end soon, and the clearing will continue this evening.

Friday will feature sunshine in full supply statewide; we start the day in the mid to upper 30s; the high will be in the 57- to 60-degree range.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday morning will be cold, with subfreezing temperatures; most places will see a low between 28 and 32 degrees. We warm into the upper 50s by afternoon with a sunny sky. The weather will stay sunny Sunday with a high in the mid to upper 60s.

NEXT WEEK: For now it looks like any showers Monday will be confined to the far southern part of the state; north Alabama will see a mix of sun and clouds with a high close to 70. We will mention a chance of showers Tuesday through Thursday as moist air returns, but the rain won’t be as heavy or as widespread as what we experienced this week. Rain amounts next week, for now, are expected to be less than 1 inch. Afternoon temperatures will remain mild, with highs around 70 degrees.

RAIN UPDATE: Here are some rain totals across Alabama at the official reporting stations since Jan. 1, and the departure from average:

  • Tuscaloosa — 25.64 inches (14.31 inches above average)
  • Birmingham — 24.55 inches (14.49 above average)
  • Anniston — 24.22 inches (13.92 above average)
  • Muscle Shoals — 20.68 inches (10.77 above average)
  • Montgomery — 19.83 inches (10.7 above average)
  • Huntsville — 18.99 inches (10.39 above average)
  • Mobile — 10.13 inches (1.44 below average)

ON THIS DATE IN 1961: An EF-4 tornado moved through Jefferson County. It hit in the extreme southwest part of Bessemer and moved through the downtown area. It then moved to the northeast through parts of Homewood and Mountain Brook. Most of the damage was is in the first two miles of the path in Bessemer. More than 200 buildings were damaged, 29 were destroyed and 25 had major damage. Outside of Bessemer, 40 buildings were damaged. There were 35 injuries and no fatalities.

DON’T FORGET: We go back on Daylight Saving Time this weekend. Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday night and check the batteries in your NOAA Weather Radio and smoke alarms. Sunset time Sunday evening will be 6:50 p.m.

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For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.com.

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