James Spann: Alabama mostly dry through the weekend

FROSTY NIGHT AHEAD: Temperatures are hovering around the 60-degree mark this afternoon with a good supply of sunshine. Tonight will be clear and cold, and many north and central Alabama communities will see a freeze. We project lows in the 28- to 34-degree range early Tuesday, and even where temperatures don’t drop below freezing, frost is likely.

The day Tuesday will be sunny with a high in the low 60s.

REST OF THE WEEK: Wednesday’s weather will be dry; the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with a high in the mid 60s. Clouds will increase Wednesday night ahead of a disturbance that will have the potential to produce a few sprinkles or patches of light rain over the northern third of the state. Rain amounts, if any, will be very light.

Any lingering rain will end very early Thursday morning, and the sky becomes partly sunny during the day with a high in the low 60s. Friday will be sunny with afternoon temperatures peaking in the upper 60s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday promises to be a delightful day with ample sunshine and a high in the 70- to 75-degree range. The latest global model data suggests Sunday will be dry and mild, with afternoon temperatures in the 70s. Clouds will increase late in the day, and some rain is possible late Sunday night and Monday. We’re not expecting anything too heavy, and no risk of severe storms.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible Tuesday. The rest of the week looks dry and mild, with highs in the 70s.

STORM SURVEYS: National Weather Service survey teams have identified a total of 15 tornadoes from the severe storms that moved over the state last Thursday. Thankfully there were no fatalities and no serious injuries. All of them were rated EF-0 or EF-1, with the exception of one EF-2 tornado in Elmore County near the western shore of Lake Jordan.

LAST FREEZE? Many north and central Alabama communities will see a freeze early Tuesday morning, with a freeze warning in effect for about the northern third of the state. After that, there’s no sign of any freezing temperatures for the rest of March. But, fair warning, we almost always have a cold snap in early April. For many, I doubt that Tuesday will be the last freeze of the season.

ON THIS DATE IN 1925: The great “Tri-State Tornado” occurred, the deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The storm claimed 695 lives (including 234 at Murphysboro, Illinois, and 148 at West Frankfort, Illinois) and caused $17 million property damage. It cut a swath of destruction 219 miles long and as much as a mile wide from east-central Missouri to southern Indiana between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The tornado leveled a school in West Frankfort, Illinois, and picked up 16 students, setting them down unharmed 150 yards away. Seven other tornadoes claimed an additional 97 lives that day.

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