James Spann: Alabama weather unsettled for much of the week

James Spann forecasts a quiet day, then unsettled weather for Alabama this week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

MOSTLY DRY TODAY: Today will be a warm early April day for Alabama; we project a high in the 80- to 85-degree range this afternoon. The sky will be partly sunny, and we expect just a few widely scattered showers this afternoon. The chance of any one spot getting wet is only in the 10% to 20% range.

TUESDAY: The sky will be mostly cloudy and a batch of showers and storms will move into the state from the west during the day. The Storm Prediction Center has a low-end marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for a small part of west Alabama, where small hail and gusty winds are possible. But we don’t expect a major severe weather issue.

The best chance of rain Tuesday will come during the midday and afternoon, and the high will be in the upper 70s for most places.

WEDNESDAY: It looks like a very warm day, with highs in the mid 80s; this will make the air very unstable for early April, but thankfully there isn’t a a major weather system around to provide dynamic forcing for severe storms. The SPC has defined a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) of severe storms Wednesday afternoon and evening for the Tennessee Valley of far north Alabama, with a low-end marginal risk (level 1 of 5) down into the central part of the state.

Heavier storms could produce gusty winds and hail, but for now this doesn’t look like a major threat.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: A cold front will bring a chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm Thursday, followed by much cooler and drier air Friday. The sky becomes partly sunny Friday, and temperatures over the northern quarter of the state won’t get out of the 50s, with low 60s for places like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Anniston.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday morning looks cold, and there will be some potential for frost and a freeze for colder spots across north Alabama. Growers beware. The low for most communities will be in the 33- to 37-degree range, with low 30s for colder valleys and protected areas. Saturday looks dry with a high in the 60s. Sunday’s forecast is very low-confidence; the American global model (the GFS) is dry as a bone, but the European model (the ECMWF) brings in a batch of rain and storms. We will have much better clarity later in the week.

NEXT WEEK: In this active pattern the confidence is low in a day-to-day forecast, but the pattern favors below-average temperatures for much of the contiguous United States.

ON THIS DATE IN 2007: The opening-season series between the Indians and Minnesota Twins was wiped out by a snowstorm and a cold snap. The Indians led 4-0 when their home opener on Friday, April 6, was called off by umpires because of heavy snow. The grounds crew who tried to make the field playable with backpack blowers and brooms spent more time on the field than the players during nearly three hours of stoppages. About a foot of snow remained on the ground Monday afternoon, April 9.

ON THIS DATE IN 2016: Nine tornadoes touched down across southeast Alabama, mainly in areas south and east of Montgomery. These were mostly EF-0 or EF1 tornadoes, although one was an EF-2 in Bullock County. There were no injuries.

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