James Spann: More rain, cold weather ahead for Alabama

MIX OF SUN AND CLOUDS: The southern half of Alabama is enjoying a mostly sunny, mild afternoon, while clouds persist over much of north Alabama.

Nothing is on radar, and temperatures are in the 50s where clouds are hanging tough, mostly 60s elsewhere. Mobile is in the low 70s.

MORE RAIN ON THE WAY: Another upper trough will lift out of the Southwest over the next 24 hours; tomorrow will be a mostly cloudy day with some risk of showers, but the most widespread rain will come tomorrow night into Saturday morning. Seems like the main window for rain comes from midnight tomorrow night through noon Saturday.

Some thunder is possible, but no severe storms are expected. Rain amounts for most places should be in the one-half-inch to 1-inch range, so no flooding in Alabama. We do note flash-flood watches are up for parts of Middle Tennessee, where more than 3 inches of rain is expected.

COLDER SATURDAY: Temperatures should begin to fall during the day Saturday as another surge of cold air moves into the state. For places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston and Gadsden, we begin the day in the 60s, then fall through the 50s. Northwest Alabama will be in the 40s by afternoon with a brisk north wind.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL: The annual Birmingham Bowl is Saturday, featuring Texas Tech vs. South Florida. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. at Legion Field. The sky will be cloudy, with rain likely during the game; temperatures will fall from near 58 at kickoff into the low 50s by the final whistle. There is no risk of severe weather, and probably no thunder.

SUNDAY/CHRISTMAS DAY: These two days will be cold and dry with a good supply of sunshine. The high Sunday will be in the upper 40s, followed by a high Monday in the mid 40s. Christmas morning will be cold, with mid 20s likely.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry with sunny, cool days and fair, cold nights. Clouds return Thursday with some risk of scattered showers; rain will be more likely by Friday or Saturday ahead of another cold front. There are huge model differences, and no way now of resolving forecast details. It does look much colder as the New Year begins.

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