James Spann: Improving weather for Alabama today; nice weekend ahead

ROUGH NIGHT: As expected, we experienced a high-impact, widespread wind event across Alabama last night and early this morning as Tropical Storm Zeta moved through. Winds gusted as high as 76 mph across central Alabama, knocking down thousands of trees. As I write this early this morning, Alabama Power reports 494,000 customers without power, and that number will only rise in coming hours. Many trees came down on homes and cars, but to my knowledge there have been no serious injuries in Alabama.

Highs winds over extreme northeast Alabama will end very early this morning, and we expect improving weather across Alabama today as cooler, drier air rolls in following Zeta’s passage. Temperatures will fall into the 60s this afternoon, and the sky becomes partly to mostly sunny. Tonight will be clear and cool, with a low in the mid 40s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Look for a mostly sunny sky Friday and Saturday; the high will be in the mid 60s Friday, followed by low 70s Saturday. We stay dry Sunday with a partly sunny sky; temperatures rise back into the low 70s.

NEXT WEEK: Colder air drops in here early in the week; the high Monday will be between 56 and 61 degrees, and it looks like we will have widespread frost by early Tuesday morning, with potential for a freeze in the colder valleys. Then, we rise back into the low 70s over the latter half of the week. No rain is expected.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games Friday night, the sky will be clear with temperatures falling from the mid 50s at kickoff into the upper 40s by the second half.

Saturday, Auburn hosts LSU (2:30 p.m. kickoff) at Jordan Hare Stadium. The sky will be sunny, with temperatures about 71 degrees at kickoff, mid 60s by the final whistle.

Alabama will host Mississippi State Saturday night (kickoff at 6) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The sky will be clear with temperatures falling from the mid 60s at kickoff into the upper 50s by the fourth quarter.

UAB is on the road, taking on Louisiana Tech in Ruston Saturday (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with temperatures in the mid 60s at kickoff, falling to near 60 by the final whistle.

TROPICS: A broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the southwestern Caribbean Sea during the next few days. Gradual development of this system is possible thereafter, and a tropical depression could form early next week while the system meanders over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. It’s too early to know whether this will affect the U.S. The Atlantic hurricane season runs through the end of November.

ON THIS DATE IN 1693: From the Royal Society of London: “There happened a most violent storm in Virginia which stopped the course of ancient channels and made some where there never were any.” Known as the Accomack Storm, this event likely caused changes to the Delmarva shoreline and coastal inlets.

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