James Spann: Rain for Alabama at times this afternoon, tonight

James Spann forecasts rain for Alabama ahead of a cold front from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

COLD FRONT ON THE WAY: Clouds have returned to Alabama this morning, and we expect a few periods of rain this afternoon and early tonight ahead of a cold front. The main window for rain comes from noon until midnight, and amounts should be less than one-half inch for most places as moisture will be limited. There’s no risk of severe storms, and most likely very little thunder. The high this afternoon will be in the upper 60s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Friday will be a sunny day, but the weather will be breezy and noticeably colder, with a high between 50 and 55 degrees. We drop into the 28- to 32-degree range by daybreak Saturday with a clear sky. Then, temperatures rise near 60 degrees Saturday afternoon with sunshine in full supply. Sunday will be another sunny day 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 bring clouds back into the state Monday and some rain Monday night. Moisture looks to be limited, and rain amounts should be light.

Temperatures will fall into the 30s over north Alabama on Tuesday and most likely will stay there all day. There is some chance we could see a snow flake or ice pellet on the back edge of the precipitation shield Tuesday morning, but odds of anything meaningful are very, very low. The big story is the cold air.

The sky will clear Tuesday night, and by daybreak Wednesday we drop into the 18- to 24-degree range over the northern half of the state. Birmingham’s record low for Nov. 13 is 22, set way back in 1911, and that record is in danger. It rarely gets this cold before Thanksgiving in Alabama.

The American global model (the GFS) shows a wave on the Gulf Coast and a chance of rain Thursday, but the European model (the ECMWF) is dry, and we will keep our forecast dry for now on Thursday and Friday 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 65 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 1951: At 7 a.m. Central Time a blinding flash, a huge ball of fire and a terrific roar occurred over parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, caused by a disintegrating meteor. Windows were broken in and near Hinton, Oklahoma, by the concussion.

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