James Spann: Warmer days ahead for Alabama, with some rain Friday night

BIG WARM-UP: As expected, a nice warming trend is beginning across Alabama this afternoon. With sunshine in full supply, temperatures are well up in the 60s after a subfreezing start this morning. We stay above freezing tonight; with a fair sky, most places will see a low in the 40s.

TOMORROW: We start the day with a mostly sunny sky, but clouds will increase during the afternoon, and a few showers could reach northwest Alabama late in the day. We project a high between 67 and 70 degrees. The Storm Prediction Center has defined a severe weather risk west of Alabama tomorrow and tomorrow night, with a slight risk from Memphis down to Jackson, Monroe and Shreveport.

A marginal risk extends into far northwest Alabama tomorrow night, but dynamics will be weakening, and the overall threat for our state looks low. We do expect showers and storms to be around tomorrow night into early Saturday morning as a surface front moves through.

THE WEEKEND: It sure looks like most of the weekend will be dry and mild. We can’t rule out a few isolated showers Saturday and Sunday, but nothing widespread or heavy. Highs over the weekend will be in the mid 70s with a mix of sun and clouds; some spots could see upper 70s Saturday if the sun can break out for decent amount of time.

Rain and storms will increase by Sunday night, however, as the surface front lifts northward and a deep surface low forms northwest of the state. A few strong storms are possible Sunday night.

MONDAY: The air becomes unstable over the state, with surface-based CAPE values possibly exceeding 2,000 j/kg. This could lead to a chance of strong to severe storms at some point during the day as a cold front approaches; we will keep a close eye on the potential in coming days. Monday temperatures will stay mild, with a high in the 70s.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Tuesday will be mostly cloudy, breezy and cooler as the low pulls away to the northeast. The high will be close to 60, and a touch of light rain is possible over the northern half of the state. The rest of the week looks dry with cool days and cold nights. We will have frost potential by Wednesday and Thursday mornings; some spots could see another late-season freeze. Winter just doesn’t want to leave.

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