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Dry Today; Mild and Wet Weather Later

| 6:19 am January 7, 2013

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COLD START: Most communities are below freezing at daybreak this morning; temperatures include 25 at Valley Head and Black Creek, 27 at Fayette and Haleyville, 28 at Anniston, 30 at Birmingham, and 32 at Tuscaloosa. Today will be sunny and cool with a high in the low to mid 50s. But, enjoy the sun because it will go away for an extended period of time.

TO THE WEST: A deep upper low is over the Desert Southwest this morning, and will lift out in coming days bringing wet weather to much of the Central U.S. And, thankfully model agreement is much better on the system this morning. Let’s break it down on a day by day basis…

TOMORROW: Clouds will increase, but the day should be dry across the great state of Alabama. And, we start to warm up as afternoon temperatures head toward the 60 degree mark. To the west, strong to severe storms could break out over South Texas ahead of the upper system; SPC has a “slight risk” of severe weather in place there.

WEDNESDAY: A warm front extending from a surface low over South Texas will move northward through Alabama, and should bring enough lift for occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm. The day will be mild with a high in the 60s, and we won’t expect any issues with severe weather.

THURSDAY: Alabama will be in a warm, moist, unstable airmass. A good chance we see a high in the low 70s; the record low for Thursday (January 10) is 81 set in 1949… so no record warmth, but we should be about 20 degrees above average for January. The upper low will be lifting out toward the Great Lakes, and a surface cold front will slowly move toward the Mississippi River.

SPC does not have any severe weather risk areas defined for Thursday, but there seems to be a window for strong to severe storms over North Mississippi, East Arkansas, West Tennessee, and Northwest Alabama during the afternoon and evening hours. For now it looks like the greatest risk of severe storms in our state will come north of a line from Millport to Double Springs to Athens. This is where models show the best combination of instability and shear, but understand this could change as we get closer to the event.

Otherwise, Thursday will be warm and breezy with occasional showers and a few storms.

FRIDAY: The dynamic support pulls away, and a decaying front will stall somewhere around the northwest corner of Alabama. This keeps us in a warm, moist environment, but not much dynamic lift. So, Friday looks mostly cloudy with some risk of showers, but not an all-day rain, and nothing heavy. Again we should reach the low 70s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Pretty much the same story for Saturday and Sunday. Mostly cloudy and warm; highs in the low 70s, and the risk of a passing shower from time to time, but nothing really organized or heavy. Showers could show an increase in coverage late Sunday or Sunday ahead of another cold front approaching from the west. And, don’t get used to the “January thaw”, as a sharp change back to cold weather is likely next week.

NEXT WEEK: Periods of rain look likely one week from today (Monday January 14) with highs in the 50s. With a 1040 mb high over the Dakotas, that cold air will push deeper into Alabama by Tuesday, with potential for highs only in the 40s. Beyond that, we get into voodoo land and getting into specifics is almost impossible.

The 06Z GFS shows some rain in the cold air by Wednesday January 16, maybe even with some ice potential just north of here, and even colder air to follow around January 17-19. See the Weather Xtreme video for the details and graphics.

TITLE GAME: For tonight’s BCS National Championship game in Miami, the sky will be mostly cloudy with only a 10-20 percent risk of a brief, passing shower. Kickoff temperature near 75 degrees, around 72 by the final whistle.

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