James Spann: Slow warming trend for Alabama

James Spann forecasts a cool, dry day for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

COLDER THIS MORNING OVER SOUTH ALABAMA: Clouds have been very slow to leave over the northern half of the state, meaning the colder temperatures are over south Alabama early this morning, where the sky is clear. Just before sunrise Mobile and Montgomery were at 32, while Birmingham and Huntsville were above freezing in the mid 30s. The clouds will finally exit the state this morning, and the sky becomes sunny statewide. The high this afternoon will be close to 50 degrees over north and central Alabama.

Dry weather continues Wednesday and Thursday with a warming trend; the high will be close to 60 Wednesday, followed by mid 60s Thursday. Clouds will slowly increase Thursday afternoon and Thursday night ahead of a short wave west of the state.

RAIN RETURNS FRIDAY: That wave will bring periods of rain to the state Friday. Rain amounts should be generally one-half inch or less, and the air will be stable with daytime temperatures mostly in the 50s. There’s no risk of severe storms and probably very little thunder. The rain should end by Friday evening for most places.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be dry and pleasant; the sky will be partly sunny with a high close to 60 degrees. On Sunday, moisture begins to return with an increase in clouds. We will introduce a chance of showers Sunday afternoon, but rain should be fairly light and spotty. The high Sunday will stay close to 60.

NEXT WEEK: Showers are possible Monday, followed by widespread rain Monday night into at least part of the day Tuesday with a cold front passing through. Much colder air rolls into the state during midweek.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total since Jan. 1 is 47.7 inches; the deficiency for the year is 1.9 inches. Other totals and departures from average include:

  • Mobile — 59.38 inches (deficiency of 2.03 inches)
  • Tuscaloosa — 56.26 (surplus of 7.9)
  • Huntsville — 53.93 (surplus of 4.97)
  • Anniston — 49.71 (surplus of 3.85)
  • Montgomery — 41.55 (deficiency of 7 inches)

ON THIS DATE IN 1983: The 1983 Iron Bowl game is one of the greatest in the history of the rivalry. It was played at Legion Field on Dec. 3. The game started in beautiful warm sunshine after a stormy night of very heavy rains that caused severe flooding in the Birmingham area. A total of 9.22 inches of rain fell at the National Weather Service Forecast Office, which was on Oxmoor Road at the time. If the amount had been recorded at the airport, it would have stood as the all-time 24 hour rainfall record for the city until Hurricane Ivan.

In the second half, a line of severe thunderstorms was approaching western Jefferson County and a tornado warning was issued. The radar at Centreville showed a well-defined hook echo heading directly toward the stadium. Legion Field public address announcer Simpson Pepper read the warning over the loudspeakers, but the game was not stopped. By 10 minutes to go in the game, the rain was coming down in torrents as Auburn tried to control the ball and win the game in the horrible conditions as it clung to a 23-20 lead. The rain began to fall so heavily that you could barely see the field on the cameras.

Fortunately, the storm did not produce a tornado in western Birmingham, or the results would have been catastrophic, but later the same storm dropped an F3 tornado that heavily damaged the Winn-Dixie store at Sky City in Oxford, killing two people. Seven tornadoes touched down across the state that afternoon and evening. Auburn went on to win the game 23-20.

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