James Spann: So much rain for Alabama today; brighter, drier on Friday

James Spann forecasts pouring rain for Alabama but no severe weather from the Alabama News Center on Vimeo.

RADAR CHECK: Areas of light rain and drizzle lie across the northern half of Alabama early this morning with temperatures ranging from the 30s over the Tennessee Valley to the 50s in southern Alabama. Lauderdale and Limestone counties remain under a winter weather warning earlier this morning, but temperatures remain slightly above freezing and we have not heard of any ice problems. The main problems with freezing rain remain northwest of Alabama.

We expect widespread, soggy rain with amounts of 1 to 2 inches for the northern two-thirds of the state later and tonight. Southern counties could see some thunderstorms this afternoon, but the Storm Prediction Center has removed Alabama from the marginal risk area (Level 1 of 5). The low risk of severe weather is now limited to a small portion of the Florida Panhandle.

Rain will stop tonight from west to east but cloud will linger for much of the night.

FRIDAY AND WEEKEND: Dryer air finally returns to Alabama on Friday; We expect a good supply of sunshine with highs in the 40’s and 50’s. The sunny weather continues on Saturday; After a sub-freezing start, highs will be in the 50’s and 60’s. Sunday looks dry with partly sunny skies. Most places hit the 60s on Sunday afternoon.

NEXT WEEK: The weather on Monday and Tuesday is dry and mild with highs between 65 and 75 degrees. Rain returns on either Wednesday or Thursday (depending on which global model you believe), followed by another bout of drier air through Friday. Even today, until mid-February, there is no bitterly cold air in sight for the deep south.

ON THIS DAY IN 1996: An eruption in the Arctic that lasted from late January to early February saw four states, including Tower, Minnesota, record their lowest-ever temperatures of 60 degrees below zero that day, and said the annual Icebox Days festival from Tower because it was too cold. An ice and snow event came to an end in Alabama.

ON THIS DAY IN 2007: A deadly tornado event occurred early this morning in Lake and Volusia counties, Florida. A discontinuous swath of damage was observed from the town of Lady Lake, Lake County, to New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, a distance of more than 70 miles. A total of 21 deaths occurred in Lake County.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to view the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.