BIG WARM-UP: Some places across north Alabama have climbed 40 degrees today from the morning low to the high this afternoon. The sky is clear and temperatures are mostly in the low to mid 60s. Tonight will be clear and not as cold as recent nights; lows will range from 34 to 44 degrees early Thursday morning.
THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Sunny weather continues with warmer afternoons. Highs will be in the mid to upper 60s Thursday and pretty close to 70 degrees Friday, which is more than 10 degrees above average for mid-December in Alabama. Clouds will increase Friday night.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A cold front will bring periods of rain and a few thunderstorms to the state Saturday. It won’t rain all day, and amounts should be around one-half inch. No severe storms are expected at this point due to limited instability and weak dynamics. Sunday will be mostly cloudy and colder; an upper trough will bring some risk of light rain to the state late in the day and Sunday night. The high Sunday will be in the low to mid 50s.
NEXT WEEK: We should note the latest run of the European global model is now in pretty good agreement with the American GFS model; the rogue snow event is off the board. Any lingering light rain should end early in the day Monday, followed by clearing. The high will be between 46 and 52 degrees over the northern half of the state. Tuesday will be dry, followed by some risk of patchy, light rain Wednesday. Global models continue to advertise a more significant rain event at the end of the week on Friday, Dec. 17.
CHRISTMAS PEEK: There’s no way of knowing specific weather, of course, but the pattern seems to favor relatively mild weather for the Southeast during the last 10 days of the month — not good for those dreaming of a white Christmas. Of course, the climatological probability of snow falling on Christmas Day in Alabama is less than 1%. Our event in 2010 was a potential once-in-a-lifetime snow on Dec. 25.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: Saturday, Alabama will take on Arkansas in Fayetteville (11 a.m. kickoff). The weather looks dry but cold. The sky will be mostly cloudy with temperatures holding in the low to mid 40s during the game.
Saturday evening, Auburn travels to Starkville to take on Mississippi State (kickoff at 6:30). The sky will be cloudy, and some light rain is possible during the game; temperatures will fall through the 50s.
ON THIS DATE IN 2003: Although it never threatened land, a subtropical storm became Tropical Storm Peter approximately 700 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Combined with Tropical Storm Odette from earlier in the month, this is the first time since 1887 that two tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Basin in December.
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