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James Spann: Cold air rolls into Alabama over the weekend

RADAR CHECK: Alabama is rain-free this afternoon; the rain shield associated with Tropical Depression Nicole is well to the northeast and the sky has cleared temporarily over the western counties of the state. Temperatures are hovering around 70 degrees in most locations. Clouds will increase tonight, and some rain will push into northwest Alabama before dawn.Periods of light rain are likely over north Alabama Saturday morning as much colder air rolls into the state; that rain should end by noon in most places, although clouds will linger into the afternoon. Temperatures won’t get past the mid 50s, and a brisk north wind will make it feel colder. The sky will clear Saturday night, and by daybreak Sunday temperatures will drop into the 26- to 32-degree range over the northern half of the state. Sunday will be sunny with a high between 51 and 55 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be cool and dry, with a high in the upper 50s, but periods of rain are likely Tuesday. The rest of the week looks dry with temperatures remaining below average — highs mostly in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Subfreezing lows are likely Thursday and Friday mornings.TROPICS: Tropical Depression Nicole is about 40 miles north of Atlanta this afternoon; it will dissipate tonight over the southern Appalachians. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet; the hurricane season ends at the end of this month.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The weather will be dry for the high school playoff games across Alabama tonight, but it will be mostly cloudy and breezy, with temperatures falling into the 50s.

Saturday, Alabama travels to Oxford to take on Ole Miss (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s and a brisk, chilly north wind.

UAB will host North Texas at Protective Stadium in downtown Birmingham Saturday (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly cloudy with a kickoff temperature around 52 degrees, falling into the 40s by the final whistle. Some rain is possible in Birmingham Saturday morning, but it will be over by the time the game begins.

Auburn hosts Texas A&M Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (6:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from near 47 at kickoff into the low 40s by the final whistle.

ON THIS DATE IN 1940: An Armistice Day storm raged across the Great Lakes region and the Upper Midwest. A blizzard left 49 dead in Minnesota, and gales on Lake Michigan caused shipwrecks resulting in 59 deaths. Up to 17 inches of snow fell in Iowa, and at Duluth, Minnesota, the barometric pressure reached 28.66 inches. The blizzard claimed a total of 154 lives and killed thousands of cattle in Iowa. Huge snowdrifts isolated whole towns.

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

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