James Spann: Colder air rolling into Alabama

SEVERE CLEAR: Not a cloud in the Alabama sky this afternoon. Temperatures are in the upper 40s over the Tennessee Valley, 50s across central counties, and low 60s are being reported near the Gulf Coast. A stiff north breeze continues to push colder air into the state, and lows will be in the subfreezing range for most of the state early Thursday. Most places across north and central Alabama will see a low between 25 and 29.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Look for lots of sunshine both days. The high will be in the mid to upper 40s Thursday, followed by low 50s Friday. Clouds will increase Friday night.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A wave of low pressure will move over the state and bring periods of mostly light rain. The main window for the significant rain comes from about noon Saturday through midnight Saturday night, although some lingering light rain or drizzle is possible Sunday morning. Clouds linger through Sunday afternoon, and the high both days will be generally in the 50- to 55-degree range.

NEXT WEEK: The week looks fairly quiet with seasonal temperatures; highs will be mostly in the 50s and lows generally in the 30s. Models have not been consistent with the system toward the end of the week; in fact, the latest Global Forecast System run holds off the next chance of rain until sometime the following weekend (Jan. 19-20).

ON THIS DATE IN 2011: Snow and freezing rain developed across Alabama during the afternoon and evening, and by daybreak the following day (Jan. 10, 2011), areas north of Interstate 20 were reporting anywhere from 1 to 14 inches of snow, with the heaviest totals near the Alabama-Tennessee state line. Ice reports were as high as one-half inch in multiple counties south of Interstate 20. Businesses and schools had declared they would be closed on Monday, Jan. 10, and for good reason. Road conditions around central Alabama caused many counties to declare that roads would be closed. Unfortunately, this winter weather event caused the loss of at least two lives on area roadways because of slick conditions.

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