James Spann: Rain returns to Alabama Thursday afternoon, colder air Friday

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for midweek from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ANOTHER NICE DAY: Temperatures are mostly in the 40s across Alabama early this morning, but some of the colder pockets are in the upper 30s. Look for a nice warm-up today; with a good supply of sunshine the high will be in the 72- to 75-degree range for most communities. The average high for Nov. 6 at Birmingham is 69.

RAIN RETURNS: Clouds return to the state Thursday, and we will forecast periods of rain Thursday afternoon into the night. Looks like the main window for rain will come from 3 p.m. until midnight, although some rain could begin during the morning over north Alabama. Amounts of one-half inch or less are expected, and there is no risk of severe storms — probably no thunder, with a stable air mass. The high will be in the mid to upper 60s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The sky becomes sunny Friday as dry air returns to the state, but the day will be noticeably colder, with a high between 50 and 55 degrees. Then, we drop into the 28- to 33-degree range by early Saturday morning with a clear sky. The day Saturday will feature sunshine in full supply with a high close to 60 degrees. Sunday will be sunny as well with a high in the mid 60s.

NEXT WEEK: A cold front, representing the leading edge of the coldest air so far this season, will enter Alabama Monday. We note the latest run of the American global model (the GFS) all of a sudden picks up a batch of moisture with the front, showing rain Monday into Tuesday morning, but that is a an outlier. The reliable European global model, and earlier runs of the GFS, are bone dry, and we will keep our forecast dry as well.

The high Monday will drop into the 50s, and on Tuesday and Wednesday we project highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. Parts of north Alabama could hold in the 30s all day Tuesday with a brisk north wind. It will feel like the middle of winter.

The weather most likely will stay dry through the end of next week with a slow warming trend.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: It will be clear and cold for the high school games Friday night, with temperatures falling through the 40s.

Alabama hosts LSU Saturday in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The weather could not be any better for the biggest college game of the year — a sunny sky, with temperatures falling from near 61 at kickoff into the mid 50s by the final whistle. Sunset Saturday in Tuscaloosa comes at 4:52 p.m., so the fourth quarter will be played under the lights.

UAB will take on Southern Miss in Hattiesburg Saturday (2:30 p.m. kickoff). Expect clear weather for the game with temperatures falling from near 66 at kickoff to near 60 by the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville State will take on Tennessee Tech Saturday (kickoff at 1:30 p.m. Central) in Cookeville; the sky will be sunny with temperatures in the 55- to 60-degree range during the game.

ON THIS DATE IN 1977: The Kelly Barnes Dam, an earthen embankment in Stephens County, Georgia, just outside the city of Toccoa, collapsed after heavy rainfall. The resulting flood killed 39 people and caused $2.8 million in damage. The dam was never rebuilt, and the Toccoa Falls downstream of the dam site is now a memorial and tourist attraction on the campus of Toccoa Falls College. After the flood, Georgia’s Gov. George Busbee called for an immediate investigation, which was carried out by a Federal Investigative Board of the United States Geological Survey. Its report was released Dec. 21, 1977, with no specific causes cited for the failure.

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