James Spann: Alabama’s quiet weather continues through the weekend

James Spann forecasts a slight warm-up for the Alabama weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

THIRTIES, FORTIES AND FIFTIES: This morning is a good example of why it is best to use a range of temperatures when forecasting lows on a clear, calm morning across Alabama. There’s almost a 20-degree spread across the state (31 in Gadsden, 50 in Birmingham just before sunrise). Variations are due to wind, elevation and the Urban Heat Island effect in Birmingham.

Sunny weather continues across Alabama today and Friday with a slow warming trend; the high will be in the mid 60s today, then close to 70 on Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be another sunny day with a high in the low 70s. Moisture levels begin to creep up Sunday, but for now the risk of a shower looks very low. Otherwise, we expect a partly sunny sky Sunday with a high in the mid 70s.

THANKSGIVING WEEK: For now the chance of rain looks very low Monday and Tuesday, but models are beginning to agree on the potential for a fairly dynamic storm system to form over the central U.S. that would bring rain and thunderstorms to Alabama on Wednesday. The synoptic scale pattern would suggest potential for strong storms (this is the core of the late fall severe weather season in Alabama), but the amount of instability remains in question. It’s too early to know whether severe storms will be an issue, but it’s clearly something to watch as we get closer. Dry air returns for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday with highs 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 low 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 low 60s at kickoff into the upper 50s by the final whistle.

TROPICS: For the first time since late October we have no named tropical systems in the Atlantic basin. The National Hurricane Center is watching two areas for development, one in the southwest Caribbean and another northeast of the Bahamas. Both have a low chance of development for now, and the Gulf of Mexico remains very quiet.

ON THIS DATE IN 1930: An estimated F4 tornado struck the town of Bethany, Oklahoma. Between 9:30 a.m. and 9:58 a.m., it moved north-northeast from 3 miles west of the Oklahoma City limits and hit the eastern part of Bethany. About 110 homes and 700 other buildings, a fourth of the town, were damaged or destroyed. Near the end of the damage path, 3.5 miles northeast of Wiley Post Airfield, the tornado hit the Camel Creek School. Buildings blew apart just as the students were falling to the floor and looking for shelter, and five students and a teacher were killed. A total of 23 people were killed and another 150 injured, 77 seriously.

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