James Spann: Patchy light rain for Alabama through Wednesday, then a soggy Thursday

James Spann forecasts light rain for Alabama, then heavy rain on Thursday from the Alabama News Center on Vimeo.

RADAR CHECK: Rain falls near a cold front over northwest corner of Alabama early this morning; the rest of the state is cloudy. A heavy fog warning is in effect for much of eastern and southern Alabama, where visibility is very limited.

Today it is cloudy with isolated light rain showers. There will be a large thermal area as the front sags southward; Temperatures in the Shoals could drop into the 30s today while Mobile and Dothan will enjoy a high in the 70s. For much of the state, we expect 50’s and 60’s.

ICE IS NOT BEAUTIFUL: An ice storm warning remains in effect for parts of western Tennessee (including Memphis), far northwest Mississippi and Arkansas, where freezing rain will cause ice accumulation and potentially major impacts on travel and power outages. It’s going to be very tight this evening and Wednesday morning for far north Alabama (communities near the Tennessee state line) where light rain is expected with temperatures ranging from 31 to 35 degrees. There are currently no recommendations for parts of Alabama. If freezing rain develops, warm ground temperatures should help mitigate big problems, but if you’re driving in this range patchy bridge icing can’t be ruled out.

Wednesday will be cloudy with possible light rain; Temperatures will be in the 30s and 40s over northern Alabama with 50s and 60s over southern counties as the major contrast continues. Expect torrential rain then Thursday and Thursday night as the main storm system emerges to the west. Rainfall of 1-2 inches is likely over the northern two-thirds of the state, with a half to 1 inch in far south Alabama.

The Storm Prediction Center has imposed a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for severe thunderstorms on Thursday for areas near the Gulf Coast; a few storms there could produce gusty winds and there is a small chance of a short tornado or two.

But for most of Alabama, there will be little to no thunder Thursday with a cool, stable air mass.

FRIDAY AND WEEKEND: Dry air returns. Expect a good supply of sunshine on Friday and Saturday; High Friday is in the 40s over northern Alabama and in the 50s in the south. After a cold start, highs in the 50s and 60s are reached on Saturday. A disturbance will bring scattered clouds on Sunday, but at this time the air is looking too dry for any significant rain. A few isolated showers could form near the Georgia border, but most of the state should be dry with a mix of sun and clouds.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks dry and mild on Monday and Tuesday; A front brings the possibility of showers and a possible thunderstorm through Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures should be above average throughout the week.

ON THIS DAY IN 1979: A winter storm that started the previous day and ended that day spread 2 to 4 inches of rainfall in 24 hours over much of the southern California coast and 2 inches of snow in Palm Springs. Eight inches fell at Lancaster. All major interstates to Los Angeles have been closed. Snow drifts closed Interstate 10 on both sides of Palm Springs, isolating the city.

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.