James Spann: Fine fall weekend ahead for Alabama

LONG DRY SPELL CONTINUES: This is a picture-perfect autumn day across Alabama with sunshine in full supply, low humidity and below-average temperatures. Most communities are somewhere between 67 and 72 degrees, and tonight should be the coolest night so far this season for many places, with lows well down in the 40s. Colder pockets will reach the upper 30s over north Alabama early Saturday.

For the weekend, expect lots of sunshine both days; the high will be in the low to mid 70s Saturday, followed by mid to upper 70s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Dry weather continues with warmer afternoons; we should reach the low 80s Tuesday through Thursday before another surge of cooler air arrives a week from today. Lows will be mostly in the 50s through the week.

TROPICS: Tropical Depression 25 formed this morning in the northwest Caribbean; it is expected to become Tropical Storm Gamma at some point during the next 24 hours. it will cross the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula over the weekend, and then meander around the southwest Gulf of Mexico pretty much all of next week with very weak steering currents.

Another tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean has a 40% chance of becoming a depression or storm during the next five days. These systems will remain well south of the Alabama and northwest Florida Gulf Coast at least for the next seven days.

RACE WEEKEND: The weather looks good for NASCAR fans. Look for sunny days and clear nights at Talladega, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s. The coolest morning will be early Saturday, when temperatures will drop into the 40- to 45-degree range. For the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, we expect a mostly sunny sky with a high in the mid 70s.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: We’ll have perfect autumn weather for the high school games tonight. The sky will be clear, with temperatures falling from near 60 degrees at kickoff into the upper 40s by the final whistle.

Saturday, Alabama will host Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with a kickoff temperature around 74 degrees, dropping to near 70 by the final whistle.

Auburn is on the road, taking on Georgia in Athens Saturday (6:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be clear; temperatures will fall from near 68 at kickoff to near 60 by the fourth quarter.

UAB has a home game Saturday at Legion Field (11:30 a.m. kickoff) against UTSA; the sky will be sunny with temperatures rising into the low to mid 70s during the game. It will be a perfect day for college football across the Deep South.

Jacksonville State is on the road, taking on Florida State in Tallahassee (3 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly sunny, with temperatures falling from the upper 70s at kickoff to near 70 by the final whistle.

ON THIS DATE IN 1898: A Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Georgia. This is the most recent major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricane to make landfall in Georgia.

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