RADAR CHECK: The upper trough moving into Alabama has certainly been the overachiever today. Models suggested nothing more than isolated showers, but the cold core system has brought a mix of graupel, sleet, rain, and even a few snow flakes to North/Central Alabama today. The precipitation will end this evening, and no travel impact is expected tonight as the wave moves on to the east. Much of South Alabama has enjoyed a mostly sunny sky this afternoon.
TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: Tomorrow will be the warmest day of the week; the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with a high in the 55-59 degree range. Then, clouds increase tomorrow night as a cold front pushes into the state. The front should pass through in mostly dry fashion early Friday morning, but a few sprinkles can’t be ruled out. Friday will be a colder, dry day with a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the 40s.
Saturday will be a mostly sunny day; after a low in the 28-32 degree range, the high will be in the mid 40s. Clouds slowly increase Sunday… the high Sunday afternoon will be close to 50 degrees. Another weather system will have potential to bring a little light rain, or maybe even a few snow flurries to the northern quarter of the state Sunday night, but moisture will be very limited and precipitation will be light and spotty.
NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry with seasonal temperatures Monday and Tuesday; some patchy light rain could reach the state Wednesday. But, the latest global model data suggests the most widespread rain will hold off until late Thursday, Thursday night, or even Friday morning. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.
ON THIS DATE IN 1982: While Alabama was in the midst of a catastrophic ice storm, there was a weather related aviation disaster in Washington, D.C. Air Florida Flight 90 was headed to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Moments after takeoff, the plane with 74 passengers and five crew members failed to maintain altitude and slammed into the bridge, striking seven occupied vehicles and plummeting into the Potomac. Four passengers and one flight attendant were rescued; four motorists on the bridge were killed.
The official cause of the crash was pilot error. When the pilots failed to activate the anti-icing systems, the snow in the engines caused compression instruments to read incorrectly, making the pilots think they had more power than they actually. The reduced power (about 70%) and ice covered wings caused the crash.
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