James Spann: Alabama weekend gets off to a rainy start, then cold air arrives

James Spann: Alabama gets wet, then cold before Christmas from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WET, THEN COLD: An upper trough will be lifting out of the Southwest today, and will bring lots of rain to the southern U.S. over the next 36 hours. A flash flood watch is in effect for parts of Tennessee and far North Mississippi, where rain amounts could exceed 3 inches.

Here in Alabama, we will have the chance of scattered showers today, but the most widespread rain comes in late tonight and into tomorrow morning. Rain amounts up around Muscle Shoals will be about 1.5 inches, but for the rest of the state totals should be generally less than 1 inch. Some thunder is possible, but no severe thunderstorms are expected.

The rain will end from northwest to southeast during the midday and early afternoon tomorrow, and temperatures will be going the wrong way. We begin the day in the low 60s, then fall through the 50s, reaching the 40s by late afternoon with a brisk north wind.

Sunday looks mostly cloudy and cool, with a high in the 50- to 55-degree range.

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. Rain is likely during the first half, but there is a decent chance the second half will be rain-free. Temperatures will be in the upper 50s at kickoff, falling into the low 50s by the final whistle with a cool north wind developing.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Expect sunny and cold weather for Alabama Monday; we start the day in the mid 20s, and the high should be in the mid 40s. That is about 10 degrees below average for Dec. 25.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: The weather stays dry Tuesday and Wednesday with a slow warming trend; then we will bring in the risk of showers Thursday and Friday with rising moisture levels. Beyond that, there are huge model differences (as you expect 7-15 days out), but we are seeing good consistency in the idea of much colder air blowing in here around the arrival of the New Year.

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