James Spann: Clouds move into Alabama tonight; cold, wet days ahead

EXTENDED PERIOD OF WET WEATHER IS AHEAD: The sky is partly to mostly sunny this afternoon with temperatures around 50 degrees across north and central Alabama; clouds will thicken tonight ahead of a weather system loaded with moisture. Friday will be a cloudy and rather chilly day, and computer model guidance continues to speed up the arrival time of the rain. Rain should begin during the day Friday, then become widespread Friday night and Saturday as a surface low moves along the Gulf Coast.

We should mention that as the precipitation begins Friday morning, some sleet could be mixed in with the rain, especially over northwest Alabama. Temperatures will be above freezing and we expect no impact if we do see any ice pellets.

The low will be well east of Alabama Sunday, but wrap-around moisture means another cloudy, cold day with light rain and drizzle. For those of you over the northern half of Alabama, temperatures won’t get out of the 40s Friday through the weekend; south Alabama will see highs in the 50s.

It will be a cold, soaking rain for much of the state; amounts of 2 to 3 inches are likely. There will be no worries with severe weather. About the only chance of any thunder is near the Gulf Coast. But this certainly won’t be a “Chamber of Commerce” weekend.

MONDAY: Monday will be another cloudy, cold day with highs in the 40s over north Alabama and 50s to the south. Some drizzle is possible during the morning, and a few snow flurries are possible over the northeast tip of the state. If we do see any flurries, we expect no impact.

To see some real snow, try western North Carolina or the southwestern part of Virginia. This could be a huge snow event for them, with amounts of more than 1 foot in many places. Snow is likely in the mountains of east Tennessee late Sunday into Monday as well.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry with a warming trend. Then we will deal with a round of rain and thunderstorms by late Thursday and Friday; the latest Global Forecast System run is suggesting some potential for strong thunderstorms.

ON THIS DATE IN 1983: An early-morning tornado tore through Selma. A total of 103 structures were damaged or destroyed along its 13-mile path. Thirty-plus vehicles at a new car dealership were destroyed. A dorm at Selma University had significant damage. One person was killed at an apartment complex.

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