James Spann: Mild temperatures, unsettled weather for Alabama this week

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for the work week ahead from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

RADAR CHECK: Showers and thunderstorms are over much of Alabama this morning south of I-59 (Tuscaloosa to Birmingham to Gadsden), along and south of a stalled front draped over the state. The front will move slowly northward as a warm front over the next 24 hours, and we expect periods of rain along with a few thunderstorms statewide through tonight. Some heavy rain is possible, and localized flooding could develop as the ground is completely saturated. Also, there is a low-end marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) for a few severe thunderstorms over the northern quarter of the state this afternoon and tonight; a few storms there could produce hail and gusty winds. But the overall threat level is low.

Look for a high today well up in the 60s; 70s are possible over parts of south Alabama as the unseasonably mild temperatures continue.

TUESDAY: Very moist air remains in place. We will forecast a mostly cloudy sky with occasional showers and thunderstorms. Once again the rain could be heavy in spots, and a few flooding problems are possible during the day. Strong storms could form as well; the Storm Prediction Center has about the northern half of the state in a marginal risk (level 1 of 5).

A few of the heavier storms Tuesday could produce small hail and gusty winds, but again this is a low-end threat. We project a high in the low 70s for most places.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Rain is likely at times Wednesday, but drier air will push down into the northern half of the state Thursday and Friday; the best chance of showers on these two days will be over the southern half of the state. Highs will remain in the 60s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A cold front will bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms to the state Saturday; for now the severe weather risk looks low. Then, cooler, drier air arrives Sunday with rain-free weather statewide. The high will be in the 60s Saturday, dropping to near 50 on Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A pattern change will keep colder air in place across the state; north Alabama could hold in the 40s on a number of days. Any rain should be confined to the southern counties of the state.

SATURDAY’S STORM SURVEYS: National Weather Service survey teams have identified five tornadoes in Alabama so far from Saturday’s severe storm event:

  • Pickens County (near Carrollton), EF-2
  • Marshall County (Union Grove), EF-2
  • Barbour County (southwest of Eufaula), EF-1
  • Cullman/Marshall counties (near Joppa), EF-1
  • Cullman County (Holly Pond), EF-0

Thunderstorm wind damage was widespread across Alabama; around 200,000 Alabama Power customers lost service at some point over the weekend. Hundreds of trees were taken down.

ON THIS DATE IN 1982: Alabama was in the midst of a crippling ice storm. Freezing rain created a thick coating on all exposed objects. Trees snapped, pulling down power lines and putting as many as 750,000 Alabamians in the dark. The sound of tree limbs snapping under the weight of the ice was like shotguns.When it was all said and done, 20 Alabamians were dead and another 300 injured, and damage totaled $78 million.

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