James Spann: Dry weekend ahead for Alabama after light rain tonight, Friday

RADAR CHECK: We have patches of light rain across most of Alabama this afternoon as a wave moves into the western Gulf of Mexico. The evaporative cooling process has helped to generate a few patches of sleet mixed with the rain, but temperatures are in the 40s and there won’t be any impact. Periods of light rain are likely tonight, mostly over the southern two-thirds of the state; amounts should be less than one-quarter inch.

The upper wave moves right over Alabama Friday. This will most likely keep clouds in place during the day and we will maintain some risk of light rain or drizzle, especially over the eastern counties. Clearing should begin in the western part of the state during the afternoon, progressing eastward Friday night. The high will range from the low 50s over west Alabama to the upper 40s over the eastern half of the state.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Look for sunny, cool days and clear, cold nights over the weekend. The high will be in the upper 50s Saturday, followed by 60 degrees Sunday. Lows will be well down in the 30s, and some of the colder spots will drop into the 20s.

NEXT WEEK: The weather pattern looks pretty quiet with generally dry conditions and seasonal temperatures. A wave could bring a few spots of light rain to the state Tuesday, but moisture will be very limited and many places will stay dry. Highs will be in the low to mid 60s for much of the week, right at average temperatures for mid-November.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school playoff games Friday night, the weather will be clear and cold with temperatures in the 40s.

Saturday, Auburn hosts Georgia (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with a kickoff temperature near 56 degrees, falling to near 50 by the final whistle.

Alabama travels to Starkville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (11 a.m. kickoff). Sunny weather is expected with temperatures rising from near 54 at kickoff into the upper 50s by the fourth quarter.

UAB hosts UTEP at Legion Field Saturday afternoon (noon kickoff). A sunny sky is forecast with temperatures rising from 53 at kickoff to near 56 by the end of the game.

ON THIS DATE IN 1969: Apollo 12 was launched into a threatening gray sky with ominous cumulus clouds. Pete Conrad’s words 43 seconds after liftoff electrified everyone in the Control Center: “We had a whole bunch of buses drops out,” followed by “Where are we going?” and “I just lost the platform.” Lightning had struck the spacecraft. Warning lights were illuminated, and the spacecraft guidance system lost its attitude reference. When flight controller John Aaron made the recommendation to the flight director, “Flight, try SCE to Aux”, most of his mission control colleagues had no idea what he was talking about. Both the flight director and the CAPCOM Gerald P. Carr asked him to repeat the recommendation. Carr, still without knowing what it meant, relayed the order to the crew: “Apollo 12, Houston. Try SCE to auxiliary.” Fortunately Alan Bean was familiar with the location of the SCE (signal conditioning electronics) switch inside the capsule, and flipped it to aux. Telemetry was immediately restored, allowing the mission to continue. This earned Aaron the lasting respect of his colleagues; his call saved the mission.

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