James Spann: Pleasant spring weather continues for Alabama

James Spann forecasts another quiet, mild day in Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

NO COMPLAINTS: Look for another very nice early spring day across Alabama today, with lots of sunshine and a high in the mid to upper 70s this afternoon. The average high for Birmingham on April 3 is 71.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We are forecasting a partly sunny sky Saturday with a high in the upper 70s. On Sunday we will bring in the risk of a few widely scattered showers or thunderstorms. The odds of any one spot getting wet are only around 25%, and with a mix of sun and clouds the high will be in the 77- to 80-degree range.

NEXT WEEK: A moist air mass will cover the state, so there will be some risk of scattered showers and storms each day, but there is no major storm system around, meaning the daily showers will be rather random and pretty spread out. Shower coverage could be a little higher Tuesday as a short wave approaches, but even then it won’t rain everywhere. Toward the end of the week showers and storms could be a little more numerous, but models remain in poor agreement, meaning low forecast confidence. Highs through the week will be pretty close to 80 degrees.

ON THIS DATE IN 1974: The “Superoutbreak” of tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and the eastern U.S. Severe weather erupted early in the afternoon and continued through the next day. Severe thunderstorms spawned 148 tornadoes from Alabama to Michigan, most of which occurred between 1 p.m. April 3 and 1 a.m. April 4. The tornadoes killed 315 people, injured 5,300 others and caused $600 million damage. Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio were especially hard hit. In Alabama, there were at least eight tornadoes, including four extremely intense, long-lived storms. Eighty-six people were killed, 949 were injured and damages exceeded $50 million. Sixteen counties in the northern part of the state were hit the hardest.

An EF-5 tore through the town of Guin in Marion County, killing 25 people and producing catastrophic damage. As it moved northeast, it bit into deep gorges and exposed ridges, and destroyed much timber in the Bankhead National Forest. Shortly after this the tornado lifted, but another tornado moved northeast to strike south Huntsville. There was severe damage at the Redstone Arsenal. Staff members at the Weather Service Office in Huntsville were forced to temporarily abandon their hectic duties. Shortly after 11 p.m. this final storm of the outbreak in Alabama moved across Monte Sano (elevation 1,640 feet), just east of Huntsville, and broke up over western Jackson County. Another violent tornado hit downtown Jasper; it moved northeast and heavily damaged a four-block area in southeast Cullman.

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