James Spann: Dry Saturday for Alabama; some rain possible by Sunday night

DRIER DAY: Sunshine has returned to part of Alabama today as a dry slot of air worked into the state, but more clouds have moved into the northern third of the state this afternoon thanks to a passing upper trough. Temperatures are in the 40s where clouds persist over north Alabama, but the rest of the state has warmed into the mid to upper 50s. Tonight will be fair and cold, with a low in the low to mid 30s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will be cool and dry; with a partly sunny sky we expect a high around 50 degrees. On Sunday clouds will increase, and some light rain is possible by evening and into Sunday night. Sunday’s high will be in the low 50s.

NEXT WEEK: Lingering light rain is possible Monday morning; otherwise the day will be mostly cloudy. Tuesday will be dry, but some risk of rain returns Tuesday night into Wednesday with another fast-moving weather disturbance. Models have been inconsistent with this feature, so forecast confidence is low. The next major rain event comes on Friday, Jan. 31 as a deep surface low passes over Alabama. Temperatures through the week will be seasonal, with highs mostly in the 50s.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total for the month is 7.62 inches — 4.1 inches above average. Other totals include:

  • Anniston — 8.91 inches
  • Muscle Shoals — 8.42
  • Huntsville — 7.5
  • Tuscaloosa — 6.59
  • Montgomery — 5.85
  • Mobile — 3.79
  • Dothan — 2.06

ON THIS DATE IN 1967: A tornado outbreak across the central U.S. was the farthest north ever recorded in the winter up to that time. Severe weather occurred across a good portion of southeast and east-central Iowa. Two-inch hail fell at Armstrong, and more than two dozen tornadoes were reported. Five miles north of Fort Madison, a tornado caused one fatality and six other injuries. A tornado causing EF4 damage killed three people and injured 216 in St. Louis County, Missouri. Storms also affected parts of northern and central Illinois. One strong tornado in Mason County killed one person and injured three others. Another tornado moved across the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area, injuring five people. Other strong tornadoes were reported across Carroll County in Mt. Carroll, where 12 people were injured, and near Gladstone in Henderson County. Funnel clouds were reported across the southwest section of Chicago. High winds gusting to 48 mph caused a wall of a building under construction to collapse, killing one and injuring four others. Iowa had never recorded a tornado in January before this outbreak. 32 total tornadoes occurred, 14 of them in Iowa. Nine twisters occurred in Missouri, eight in Illinois and one in Wisconsin.

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