James Spann: Mild temperatures for Alabama, with a few showers or storms daily

RADAR CHECK: After a large mass of rain this morning, the weather is fairly quiet across Alabama this afternoon. We have a few scattered showers on radar, but nothing widespread. There are breaks in the cloud cover over parts of west Alabama, where temperatures are in the 70s.

A few scattered showers will remain possible tonight, but nothing widespread.

WEDNESDAY: The day will be mostly cloudy and mild, with a high between 71 and 75 degrees. A decent part of the day will be dry, although a few scattered showers are possible. To the west, a mesoscale convective system (MCS) is expected to form over Arkansas Wednesday morning; it will roll through parts of west Tennessee and north Mississippi during the afternoon, and the Storm Prediction Center has a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) of severe storms identified for this region for Wednesday and Wednesday night.

A marginal risk (level 1 of 5) extends into far west Alabama, but most of the good high-resolution models suggest the MCS will dissipate as it moves into Alabama because of warmer air aloft.

Keep in mind these thunderstorm areas can last longer than models show, so just be aware there could be a strong storm Wednesday evening over northwest Alabama with potential for some hail and strong, gusty winds. But, for the rest of the state, the overall threat is low.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Mild weather continues with highs exceeding 70 degrees for most places both days. The sky will feature more clouds than sun, and we will continue to mention a chance of showers both days, but rain amounts won’t be too heavy. Amounts between now and Friday will be around 1 inch for much of north and central Alabama, so no flooding problems are anticipated.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Most of the day will be dry and mild Saturday, with a high around 70. A few showers could form near the Tennessee state line, but even there rain won’t be widespread or heavy. On Sunday, we will mention some risk of showers over the northern third of the state (mainly north of I-20), but the rest of the state should remain dry with highs in the 70s.

NEXT WEEK: The pattern favors below-average temperatures for the western half of the U.S. with above-average temperatures for the eastern states, including Alabama. Highs will be in the 70s most days and scattered showers are possible, but an upper ridge should keep rain amounts fairly light and spotty.

LAST FREEZE? There’s no sign of any really cold weather for Alabama over the next 15 days, but we almost always have a late-season freeze during the first half of April. The latest freeze on record at Birmingham came on April 23, 1986, when the low was 30. The coldest April temperature on record at Birmingham is 26, measured on April 11, 1973. Birmingham received 5 inches of snow on April 3, 1987.

ON THIS DATE IN 1986: Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. A total of 19 tornadoes occurred. Three of the tornadoes in Indiana reached EF3 intensity. A densely populated subdivision of southeast Lexington, Kentucky, was heavily damaged by a tornado. Twenty people were injured and 900 homes were destroyed. A very strong thunderstorm downburst hit the Cincinnati area. At the Greater Cincinnati Airport, windows were blown out of the control tower, injuring the six controllers on duty. At Newport, Kentucky, 120 houses were destroyed from winds estimated from 100 to 140 mph.

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