THIS AFTERNOON: The sun is shining brightly this afternoon north and west of a line from Butler to Tuscaloosa to Lake Guntersville, but to the south and east clouds are hanging tough. Temperatures are only in the 30s under the cloud cover, but in the 40s where the sky has cleared. Most places will see a freeze tonight, with lows early tomorrow ranging from 25 to 33.
An upper trough will pass over the state tomorrow…. it could bring a few isolated showers, but moisture is very limited, and most places will stay dry. Otherwise, look for a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the low 50s. Thursday will feature a partly sunny sky with a high in the 54-59 degree range; it will be the warmest day of the week.
A cold front will pass through the state early Friday morning in mostly dry fashion; we expect nothing more than a few sprinkles. Otherwise, Friday will be mostly cloudy, breezy, and colder with temperatures falling into the 40s during the day.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Most of the weekend looks rain-free with below average temperatures. Morning lows will be in the 27-32 degree range; the high Saturday will be in the upper 40s, and close to 50 Sunday. Clouds will increase Sunday night, and a passing disturbance could bring some scattered light rain, mainly to the southern half of the state.
NEXT WEEK: The pattern continues to look fairly quiet. Some rain is likely Thursday thanks to a low in the Gulf of Mexico, otherwise the week looks dry with seasonal temperatures. Still no sign of any bitterly cold Arctic air, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, or heavy rain around here for the next 7-10 days. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
ON THIS DATE IN 1982: Birmingham experienced one of its worst winter storms of the twentieth century as snow swept into Central Alabama about midday on January 12, 1982. Morning forecasts had called for a winter storm watch for occasional sleet and freezing rain that would arrive by sundown. But, freezing rain and snow arrived about 8 hours earlier than anticipated in the Birmingham area that turned roads in skating rinks. Thousands of motorists had to abandon their vehicles on roads and hike home or spend the night in shelters. Brookwood Village mall became a huge shelter. So many wrecks occurred that the Birmingham Police Department could not answer the calls for accident investigation.
As temperatures hovered near the freezing mark through the night, 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. A state of emergency was declared and National Guard Armories were opened to serve as shelters. It was a catastrophic ice storm; when it was all said and done, twenty Alabamians were dead and another 300 injured and damage totaled $78 million.
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