James Spann: Big warm-up for Alabama today; much cooler Friday

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for midweek from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

COOL START, WARM AFTERNOON: Many towns across north and central Alabama are in the 40s this morning with a clear sky and light wind, but you won’t need a jacket for long today. A very dry air mass and strong October sun will push temperatures into the low to mid 80s this afternoon. Thursday will be warm and dry as well, with a high between 82 and 85. A cold front passes through Thursday night, and any showers should be very isolated due to the dry air in place. Friday will be a different kind of day, with a high only in the mid 60s and a cool north breeze.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday morning will be cold for mid-October. Lows will be between 34 and 42 degrees, and colder spots could see some scattered light frost. The day will be sunny with a high between 67 and 70. Sunny weather continues Sunday with a high in the mid 70s; it will be a glorious autumn weekend.

NEXT WEEK: Another front creeps into the state Monday, but we will mention only a small risk of a shower as the air will still be pretty dry. The rest of the week looks fairly quiet — mostly dry with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.

TROPICS: A broad area of low pressure a few hundred miles east of the Windward Islands continues to produce a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms, mainly to the east of its center. Strong upper-level winds are expected to inhibit significant development while the system moves west-northwestward over the next couple of days. Regardless of development, the system could produce locally heavy rainfall across portions of the central and northern Lesser Antilles today, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Thursday and Hispaniola on Friday. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Friday night will be cool and dry for high school football games across Alabama. The sky will be clear, with temperatures falling from the upper 50s at kickoff into the upper 40s by the final whistle.

Saturday, Auburn travels to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks in Columbiana (11 a.m. CT kickoff). The sky will be sunny, with temperatures rising from 62 at kickoff into the mid 60s by the fourth quarter.

UAB will host Western Kentucky at Legion Field Saturday (12:30 p.m. kickoff). Look for sunshine in full supply, with temperatures rising from 66 at kickoff to near 70 by the final whistle.

Alabama hosts Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday (7 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be clear, with temperatures falling from near 65 at kickoff into the mid 50s by the end of the game.

ON THIS DATE IN 1941: America’s first television weather forecast was broadcast on New York’s WNBT (later WNBC). There weren’t many televisions at that time, so viewers were limited to perhaps a few hundred people. The weathercast consisted of a sponsor’s message followed by a text screen containing the next day’s forecast.

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