October 24, 2020

James Spann: Record low from 1911 will be challenged Tuesday night; Get ready for very cold air across state

MILD DAY: Today will be dry across Alabama, although clouds will increase during the day. We project a high in the mid to upper 60s this afternoon; it will be the warmest day of the week. But don’t get used to it; temperatures are well below zero over parts of the northern U.S. this morning, and that very cold air will blow into Alabama after midnight tonight.

We expect periods of mostly light rain late tonight, generally from 9 p.m. through 9 a.m. Rain amounts should be one-half inch or less for most communities.

FRIGID AIR: Tuesday will be a very cold November day. Temperatures settle into the low to mid 30s early Tuesday morning and stay there all day with a strong north wind of 12-22 mph, making it feel colder. The wind chill index will be below freezing all day.

As the cold air rushes into the state, there is a chance the light rain could end as sleet (ice pellets) or freezing rain (rain in liquid form that falls with surface temperatures at or below freezing) Tuesday morning. Maybe a snow flake in a few spots. This will be short-lived, and considering the warm soil temperatures and brief window, we expect no impact. The big story is the cold air.

The sky will clear Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning we project a low between 18 and 24 degrees over north and central Alabama. Birmingham’s record low for Nov. 13 is 22, set in 1911; that record is in danger.

The day Wednesday will be sunny with a high around 50 degrees.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: For now, the northern half of the state looks dry on these two days with a partly to mostly sunny sky and a high in the mid to upper 50s. We will mention a chance of rain for south Alabama Thursday night, however, thanks to a wave in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Precipitation should be fairly light.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The sky will be sunny Saturday and partly sunny Sunday. We expect highs in the low 60s and early morning lows in the 35- to 42-degree range, a very nice fall weekend.