James Spann: Cold night ahead for Alabama, then warming trend begins

SUNNY, COLD AFTERNOON: The much-discussed, underperforming snow event in Alabama ended early this morning, and we have sunshine in full supply this afternoon with temperatures generally between 37 and 41 degrees. The air is dry, and most roads are dry as well. Tonight will be clear and cold; most communities will see a low between 18 and 22 degrees early Wednesday morning.

REST OF THE WEEK: We are expecting dry weather Wednesday through Friday with a warming trend. We rise into the upper 40s Wednesday, low 50s Thursday and upper 50s Friday. The sky will remain sunny Wednesday and Thursday; clouds will increase a bit Friday, but we expect a good amount of sunshine.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: For now we will leave the forecast dry — partly sunny Saturday and Sunday with the warming trend continuing. The high Saturday will be in the low 60s, followed by upper 60s Sunday. Nights will be mostly fair.

NEXT WEEK: A slow-moving surface front will move closer to Alabama and should bring a few periods of rain to the state Monday through Wednesday. Colder, drier air returns for Thursday and Friday.

THIS MORNING’S BUST: We had one to two hours of snow for most places very early this morning as forecast, but snow rates were not as heavy as expected, meaning the snow was not heavy enough to overcome warmer soil temperatures from yesterday’s warmth. Temperatures didn’t drop below freezing until after the snow was over, and roads were simply wet.

UGLY COLD UP NORTH: O’Hare Airport in Chicago reported 5 degrees above zero at 2 p.m., with a wind chill index of 15 below zero. Thief River Falls, Minnesota, was at minus 27 degrees at 2; the wind chill index there is 60 below zero. Many cold-weather records will be shattered tonight across the Upper Midwest and around the Great Lakes.

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