James Spann: Warming trend begins tomorrow afternoon for Alabama

James Spann: Cool air stays in place over Alabama today, tonight from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ANOTHER SUBFREEZING MARCH MORNING: Some temperatures around Alabama just before daybreak:

  • Hueytown — 27
  • Cottondale — 27
  • Black Creek — 27
  • Gadsden — 29
  • Thorsby — 29
  • Haleyville — 30
  • Decatur — 30
  • Cullman — 31
  • Pell City — 32
  • Demopolis — 32
  • Prattville — 32
  • Fort Payne — 32

Today will be another sunny, cool day with a high in the mid 50s, about 10 degrees below average for mid-March in Alabama. Tonight, a freeze warning is in effect for almost all of Alabama.

With a clear sky and near-calm wind, most north and central Alabama communities will drop into the 20s early tomorrow morning. But, on the positive side, a warming trend begins tomorrow afternoon as temperatures rise into the upper 60s with a good supply of sunshine.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Friday will be mild and dry with a partly sunny sky; we are forecasting a high at or just above 70 degrees. Clouds will increase late in the day, and we will bring in a chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday night. The Storm Prediction Center has a small part of northwest Alabama under a “marginal risk”, but the main threat of strong storms will be west of Alabama.

The surface front responsible for the rain will stall out somewhere across Alabama; exactly where that happens will determine the chance of showers Saturday. For now, it looks like showers north of I-20 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Anniston) will be few and far between Saturday afternoon with potential for a little sun; south of Birmingham, the sky will remain mostly cloudy with the risk of a few showers. Even there it won’t be a washout. And Saturday will be mild, with a high in the mid 70s.

Sunday will be another mild day with more clouds than sun. We will mention the chance of scattered showers as the surface front lifts slowly northward; the high will again be in the mid 70s.

SUNDAY NIGHT/MONDAY: A deep surface low will form near Kansas City Sunday night and will push a cold front our way. This could set the stage for strong thunderstorms late Sunday night into Monday; it is too early to be specific, but something to watch. Drier air should enter the state late Monday or Monday night.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Cooler, drier air will arrive for midweek; highs will drop into the 50s Wednesday, and we might deal with some risk of a freeze, or at least some frost early Wednesday morning.

ON THIS DATE 25 YEARS AGO: The official low at the Birmingham Airport was 2 degrees with a big blanket of snow on the ground thanks to the Blizzard of 93.

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