James Spann: Quiet spring weather for Alabama through the weekend

ANOTHER CHILLY NIGHT AHEAD: Other than a few scattered, thin cirrus clouds, we have a sunny sky over all of Alabama this afternoon with temperatures mostly in the 60s. Tonight will be clear and cold again; we project lows in the 38- to 44-degree range for most communities early Thursday morning.

The weather will stay dry Thursday and Friday with a warming trend; we reach the low 70s Thursday, followed by mid 70s Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday looks warm and dry. We will mention just the chance of a few isolated showers Sunday. The sky will feature a mix of sun and clouds both days with afternoon highs between 77 and 80.

NEXT WEEK: The pattern looks like summer for much of the week (but not as hot), as moist, unstable air will be in place. That means some risk of scattered showers and storms daily; highs will be close to 80 degrees. There is a chance rain and thunderstorms will become more numerous late in the week with the approach of an upper trough, but there is a good bit of model uncertainty.

LOWS THIS MORNING: Vic Bell, our Skywatcher at Black Creek, in Etowah County near Gadsden, dropped to 32 degrees early this morning with widespread frost. Other lows included:

  • Valley Head — 32
  • Fort Payne — 34
  • Gadsden — 36
  • Cullman — 37
  • Haleyville — 37
  • Pell City — 37
  • Cottondale — 37
  • Jacksonville — 37
  • Heflin — 38
  • Arley — 38
  • Muscle Shoals — 39
  • Huntsville — 39
  • Anniston — 40
  • Birmingham — 41
  • Tuscaloosa — 41
  • Mobile — 44
  • Montgomery — 45

ON THIS DATE IN 1960: The first weather satellite, TIROS 1 (Television and Infra-Red Observation Satellite) began sending pictures back to Earth. The TIROS series would have little benefit to operational weather forecasters because the image quality was low and inconsistent. The most critical understanding achieved from the new technology was the discovery of the high degree of organization of large-scale weather systems, a fact never apparent from ground and aircraft observations.

ON THIS DATE IN 1981: Two people were killed and 23 injured when a major tornado (EF-3) devastated the business district of Hurtsboro in Russell County, along with much of the residential area. Eight of the injured were admitted to hospitals. Damage was estimated at $8.5 million with about 80% of the property in the city damaged or destroyed. Twenty-five homes, eight mobile homes and 25 businesses were destroyed.

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