James Spann: Cold front getting closer to Alabama; a few showers tonight

James Spann forecasts big changes in Alabama’s weather this weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ON THE MAPS: A strong cold front this morning stretches from near Milwaukee to Little Rock to Houston. It will move into Alabama tonight, but we will have one more day with highs in the 80s before it arrives. The daytime will be dry, but we will mention a chance of showers tonight as the front arrives. Moisture will be limited, and the main dynamic support is far north of Alabama, so rain amounts should be light and spotty, with no risk of severe storms and probably no thunder.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The coolest air so far this season will creep into the northern half of the state on Saturday; the high will be only in the 60s, and some spots could hold in the 50s all day where clouds linger. A few isolated showers are possible Saturday morning, but the afternoon should be dry with some sun breaking through.

The front stalls out over south Alabama, and isentropic lift (overrunning) begins Sunday. Rain should become widespread over the northern two-thirds of the state by afternoon; temperatures hold in the 60s again most of the day. Rain should continue Sunday night.

NEXT WEEK: Monday, the best chance of rain will shift into south Alabama, but rain will increase statewide again on Tuesday as another wave moves through. That batch of rain should end early Wednesday. Rain amounts between tonight and Wednesday will be in the 2- to 3-inch range for much of north and central Alabama. Thursday will be cool and dry, but moisture increases again late in the week and global models suggest more rain is possible late Friday or Friday night.

TROPICS: A nor’easter is impacting the upper Atlantic coast again today, but the rest of the tropical Atlantic is very quiet.

RACE WEEKEND AT TALLADEGA: A few isolated showers are likely around the Superspeedway late tonight or early Saturday, but the bulk of the day Saturday will be dry with a high in the upper 60s. For Sunday, the sky will be mostly cloudy; unfortunately ,it looks like rain is likely by afternoon. The high Sunday will stay in the 67- to 70-degree range. Monday will be rain-free, most likely.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games tonight, the sky will be mostly cloudy and scattered showers are possible over northwest Alabama, but the rest of the state should be rain-free. Temperatures will be in the 70s at kickoff, falling into the upper 60s by the fourth quarter.

Alabama travels to College Station Saturday to take on the Texas A&M Aggies (kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Central Time). The sky will be partly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 68 degrees.

UAB will also be in Texas Saturday, playing at UTSA (kickoff at 5 p.m. Central Time). Temperatures will fall from near 70 at kickoff through the 60s during the game with a brisk northwest breeze (although the game will be played in a dome). The sky will be mostly fair with no risk of rain.

Jacksonville State will take on Eastern Illinois Saturday (kickoff at noon Central Time) in Charleston, Illinois. The day will be cool and dry, with mid 50s at kickoff; sunshine will be in full supply during the game.

ON THIS DATE IN 1780: The Great Hurricane of 1780 made landfall on the island of Barbados with estimated wind gusts of 200 mph. This hurricane went on to affect the islands of St. Vincent, where only 14 of 600 homes stood at Kings Town. St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and Puerto Rico were all affected by this hurricane. This storm is the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, with between 20,000 and 22,000 deaths.

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