James Spann: Another cold night ahead for Alabama

BLUE SKY: Again today we have a cloudless sky across Alabama with temperatures mostly in the 60s. Tonight will be clear and cold again, with lows ranging from 28 to 40 degrees. Your actual low will depend on wind and elevation.

Dry weather continues through Saturday with sunny days and clear nights; the high will be in the mid 60s Thursday, close to 70 Friday and in the low to mid 70s Saturday. Moisture begins to return Sunday; we will mention just a risk of isolated showers during the day. Otherwise the sky will be partly sunny with a high between 72 and 75 degrees.

THANKSGIVING WEEK: No doubt we will see some rain at times during the first half of the week, but there is little model consistency and, accordingly, low forecast confidence. For now it looks like a risk of widely scattered showers Monday and Tuesday, followed by a more widespread rain event Tuesday night, when a few thunderstorms could be involved as well. The latest global model guidance shows dry air returning to the state Wednesday; for now Thanksgiving looks dry with a high in the 60s.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school playoff games Friday night, the sky will be clear with temperatures falling through the 50s.

Saturday, Alabama hosts Kentucky (3 p.m. kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium). The sky will be sunny with temperatures in the mid 70s at kickoff, falling back into the 60s during the second half.

Auburn hosts Tennessee Saturday (6 p.m. kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium). It will be a great night for football with a clear sky. Temperatures will fall from the mid 60s at kickoff into the upper 50s by the final whistle.

TROPICS: Iota has dissipated over Central America. For the first time since Oct. 31, there are no active tropical cyclones (e.g., tropical depressions, tropical storms or hurricanes) in the Atlantic basin. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring two areas with a low chance of development over the next five days, one in the southwest Caribbean and one northeast of the Bahamas. If anything pops up in those regions, there won’t be any impact on the U.S. The Gulf of Mexico is expected to stay quiet for the next seven to 10 days.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ends at the end of this month, in 12 days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1957: Alabama was bracing for another round of severe weather in the wake of tornadoes the day before that killed three in Walker County. The first signs of trouble in Alabama came around 2:30 p.m. as what was likely an F2 tornado skipped along a 28-mile path from Forkland to near Sawyerville and Havana Junction in Greene and Hale counties.

A few minutes later, farther north, a tornado traveled along Highway 69 for some three miles north of Tuscaloosa. This same storm may have been the one that produced a tornado in the Birmingham area less than an hour later. The tornado first touched down at 3:30 p.m. in Ensley and moved northeast, affecting north Birmingham around ACIPCO, Tarrant City and Huffman. Pratt City, Dolomite and Pleasant Grove also reported damage. One person was killed in Ensley.

The deadliest tornado on that November Monday afternoon was one that touched down in Blount County east of Cleveland, passed east of Snead and ended in Marshall County northwest of Albertville after a 27-mile rampage. The four deaths from this tornado occurred in Blount County, where 40 homes were destroyed.

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