James Spann: Showers over the weekend for Alabama, with mild afternoons

FINE FEBRUARY DAY: With a good supply of sunshine, temperatures are well up in the 60s across North/Central Alabama this afternoon… a very nice warm-up after a sub-freezing start early today. Clouds will increase tonight, and it won’t be as cold as last night with temperatures holding well above freezing.ss

THE WEEKEND: Expect mostly cloudy and very mild weather both days, and we will deal with a few showers along the way. Rain tomorrow should be light and spotty; the coverage of showers Sunday will increase a bit thanks to an approaching cold front. Rain amounts over the weekend should be under 1/2 inch, and there should be very little thunder.

NEXT WEEK: Monday and Tuesday look cool and dry with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. We are finally getting better model agreement on the mid-week system; the GFS is coming around to the European solution and showing a good chance of rain Wednesday. The reliable Euro has a surface low near Demopolis Wednesday morning, and rain should be fairly widespread across the state by then. While a few strong storms are possible near the Gulf Coast, the severe weather threat for most of Alabama looks very low. Rain amounts Wednesday should be in the 1/2 to 1 inch range. Then, cool, dry weather is the story Thursday and Friday.

LONG RANGE: Still no sign of any extremely cold air for the next 10-15 days, and for now no sign of any severe thunderstorm threat. We usually begin to see an uptick in severe weather opportunities as we get into March and the spring tornado season.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: Yes, there is a lunar eclipse and a passing comet tonight. But this is a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning only a slight darkening of the moon most people would never notice, and the comet (45P) is not visible to the naked eye. Its closest point will come early tomorrow morning around 2:00 a.m. CT… you will need an extremely dark sky and optical aid (at least binoculars, probably a telescope) to see this comet. And, clouds will most likely get in the way of those with a good telescope here in Alabama.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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