James Spann: Showers in Alabama remain few and far between through Thursday

James Spann has the midweek forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

CALM PATTERN THROUGH THURSDAY: Don’t look for much change in the Alabama weather situation over the next 48 hours. While showers are certainly possible today and Thursday, they should be very widely scattered. Otherwise, look for a mix of sun and clouds both days with a high between 77 and 80 today, followed by low 80s Thursday. The average high for Birmingham on March 18 is 67.

To the west, severe storms are likely Thursday over states like Arkansas, where the Storm Prediction Center maintains a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Rain becomes likely statewide Friday ahead of a cold front. The good news is that we don’t expect any severe thunderstorms in our state as the main dynamic support lifts well to the north. Rain amounts of one-half inch to 1 inch are likely, with the main window for rain coming from noon Friday through midnight Friday night. On Saturday, the front pushes all the way down to the Gulf Coast. Cooler, drier air pushes into the northern two-thirds of the state; the sky becomes partly sunny with a high in the mid 60s. Any showers Saturday should be confined to the Gulf Coast, and even there it won’t rain too much.

Clouds will increase Saturday night, and rain becomes likely statewide Sunday as the front pushes northward as a warm front. The high Sunday will be in the 60s for the northern half of the state, with 70s for south Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: The first half of the week looks pretty calm with only isolated showers; the high Monday will be around 70, and by Wednesday the high will be near 80 degrees. A few scattered showers are possible over the latter half of the week, but again we see no signs of any severe thunderstorms or flooding for Alabama for the next seven to 10 days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1925: The great “Tri-State Tornado” occurred, the deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The storm claimed 695 lives (including 234 at Murphysboro, Illinois, and 148 at West Frankfort, Illinois), and caused $17 million property damage. It cut a swath of destruction 219 miles long and as much as a mile wide from east-central Missouri to southern Indiana between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The tornado leveled a school in West Frankfort, Illinois, and picked up 16 students, setting them down unharmed 150 yards away. Seven other tornadoes claimed an additional 97 lives that day.

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