James Spann: Rain, cold air move into Alabama Tuesday

THIS AFTERNOON: While the sun is shining in places like Huntsville, Scottsboro and Fort Payne, much of the state is under an overcast sky with temperatures around 60 degrees.

The sky will stay mostly cloudy tonight; a few showers are possible, mainly after midnight.

TOMORROW: An Arctic front will push into Alabama with rain, and possibly a thunderstorm or two. The good news is that we don’t expect any severe weather despite a big thermal contrast. Rain amounts of around one-half inch are likely before it tapers off tomorrow night.

Temperatures will be in the 60s tomorrow morning, but they should fall into the 40s tomorrow afternoon as cold air spreads into the state from northwest to southeast. The weather will be damp, cold and raw during the afternoon and night.

WEDNESDAY: Clouds linger, with temperatures holding in the 40s most of the day. A wave will form on the Arctic front to the south, and some rain is likely over the southern half of Alabama Wednesday night.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Thursday looks fairly quiet — mostly cloudy with a high between 48 and 51. Any rain should be confined to far south Alabama, and even there rain amounts should be very light.

Friday presents an interesting scenario; the European global model shows another wave on the front with rain moving up into central Alabama from the south. Temperatures 5,000 feet off the ground are expected to be below freezing all the way down into deep south Alabama, and this could set the stage for a few snow flakes or ice pellets over the east central counties Friday morning. The Global Forecast System is not on board with this idea, however, and we won’t mention it in the forecast for now. Otherwise Friday will be another cold day with the sky occasionally cloudy, along with a high in the upper 40s.

FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY: A clipper will move in from the northwest and have the potential to produce a few snow flurries or showers Friday night and Saturday over the northern third of Alabama. Traditionally there isn’t much moisture with clippers, and for now accumulating snow doesn’t look especially likely. But, with heavier snow showers, especially up north over the Tennessee Valley, the ground could be white in spots in grassy areas and north-facing locations. For now this does not look like a high-impact event, but we will watch model trends closely as we get close to the weekend. Otherwise, Saturday will be mostly cloudy and cold, with a high between 37 and 40 degrees.

SUNDAY: Sunday morning will be cold as the sky becomes clear and the wind light. Most places will see a low between 20 and 25, with teens for colder pockets. It will be the coldest morning so far this season. The day will be mostly sunny with a high in the upper 40s.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The AHSAA “Super Seven” state championship games are being played this year at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa Wednesday through Friday. The basic idea is for the weather to be mostly cloudy and cold on these three days, with daytime highs around 50 and evening temperatures in the 40s. For the night games, 30s are possible toward the fourth quarter. For now, the weather looks generally dry, although a few sprinkles are possible along the way.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND: The upper air pattern continues to favor below-average temperatures around here through mid-December. The first half of next week looks cold and dry.

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