James Spann: Showers, storms return to Alabama Saturday night

QUIET THANKSGIVING DAY: This is a cool, dry Thanksgiving Day across Alabama. With a sunny sky, temperatures are mostly in the 57- to 63-degree range. High clouds will increase tonight, but the weather stays dry. For Friday, expect a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the low to mid 60s.

RAIN RETURNS: Saturday will be a mostly cloudy, mild day with a high between 68 and 71 degrees. A complex storm system to the west will push a cold front in our direction, and showers and storms will enter the northwest corner of the state Saturday evening. While dynamic support will be impressive, the thermodynamic environment is weak with very little, if any, surface-based instability. The Storm Prediction Center has a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms defined for west Alabama Saturday night.

Some of the storms Saturday night will be capable of producing strong winds, and we can’t rule out an isolated, brief tornado. But for now the overall threat looks low.

Rain will end very early Sunday morning; amounts of one-half inch to 1 inch are expected. On Sunday, the sky will clear with a high close to 60 degrees and a brisk northwest wind.

NEXT WEEK: The week looks mostly cool and dry, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Some rain could could return on Friday, Dec. 6, but for now it doesn’t look like a big rain event.

IRON BOWL: For the biggest game of the year in Alabama (2:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium), the sky will be mostly cloudy with a kickoff temperature in the upper 60s. It still looks like the rain arrives after the game is over, generally after 9 p.m. in Lee County. South winds during the game will average 8-18 mph.

OTHER FOOTBALL FORECASTS: For high school playoff games Friday night, the sky will be clear with temperatures falling through the 50s.

Saturday, UAB takes on North Texas at Apogee Stadium in Denton, Texas (3 p.m. Central kickoff). Showers are possible during the morning, but by kickoff the sky should be mostly sunny as dry air moves in. Temperatures will be close to 70 at kickoff, falling to near 60 by the final whistle.

ON THIS DATE IN 1921: New England was in the midst of a four-day ice storm, its worst of record. Ice was more than 3 inches thick in many places following the storm, and property damage was in the millions of dollars. Northern New England received heavy snow, with more than 2 feet reported in some areas. Overnight freezing rains continued through the day at Worcester, Massachusetts, while the wind increased to a gale. Streets became impassable even on foot, and whole towns were plunged into darkness without communication. The storm caused $20 million damage to power lines, telephone lines and trees.

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