The sunshine finally broke through the clouds Thursday morning for most of us, and it gets colder tonight since we don’t have that blanket of thick, low clouds hanging overhead. Expect a quick temperature drop from a high in the middle 60s to a low around 41ºF by sunrise Friday. High school football playoff games tonight will be chilly: kickoff temps around 50ºF, fourth quarter temps around 44ºF to 48ºF.
Friday looks fine! Look for a sunny sky and a chilly north breeze; highs only touch the mid-50s Friday afternoon in Huntsville, but a few communities in the higher terrain may only rise to around 50ºF by mid-afternoon. This cool, dry pattern persists through the weekend with one small exception: some isolated showers on Sunday.
Weekend Weather: A reinforcing shot of cold air comes into Alabama from the east this weekend making for some unusual temperature patterns around the region. It's called cold air damming; cold air from the northeast can't go over the Appalachians, so it drains down the coastal plain then comes over the lower mountains and the Piedmont into Georgia and eastern Alabama.
This impacts temperatures greatly on Saturday and Sunday: warmer to the west, colder to the east! In fact, Saturday's high of 58ºF in Huntsville may be as much as 5ºF to 10ºF higher than Mentone, Rainsville, or Boaz. It may be as much as 3ºF to 8ºF lower than Florence and Russellville!
Colder air in the near future: We'll get a brief warm-up for the middle and end of next week, then it's an absolute Arctic jail break for the week of Thanksgiving.
The biggest question is how far south the extremely cold air gets. It is coming down from Canada, but will it make a rush for Alabama or more toward the East Coast.
That greatly impacts just how cold it can get around here!
Thursday morning's run of the American GFS model suggested temperatures as cold as 30s for highs and 10s/20s for lows around Thanksgiving.
That's probably not 'exactly' right, but it's consistent with a pattern developing for the rest of this month that looks colder and relatively dry.