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Chilly today, but a big warming trend takes us through the rest of the week, and Christmas

Wednesday has brought as a beautiful, sunny day after dealing with an upper-level low moving by yesterday. Temperatures are still on the chilly side though, with most of us still sitting in the mid to upper 40s as of the early afternoon hours.

Temperatures may climb a couple more degrees this afternoon, but most of us should top out below 50 degrees. Those clear skies remain through the evening and overnight, and that means temperatures fall quickly after dark. We start falling into the mid and upper 30s by early evening, and we're down into the mid to upper 20s by daybreak. Our warming trend starts on Thursday though, with daytime temperatures climbing into the mid and upper 50s with mostly sunny skies. A few of us in northern Alabama may even make a run at 60 or 61 degrees briefly in the afternoon.

That's the start of a prolonged warm up as high pressure shifts off to our east and winds become more southerly over our area going into Thursday. By Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a frontal system will be passing to our north, and the pressure gradient tightens in response to that. That means even stronger southerly winds, and even warmer temperatures.

Christmas itself looks quiet. We may have a stray passing shower on Friday or Saturday, but the chance of that is less than 20% both days. It will be warm though, with highs in the mid to upper 60s Christmas Eve and into the lower 70s on Christmas Day. Some areas of north Alabama may even reach the mid 70s!

That warming trend continues right on through the rest of the holiday weekend and into at least the first half of next week, with highs each day in the upper 60s and lower 70s. We start to introduce a chance of showers going into next week though, as southwest flow aloft sets up, and the warmer pattern also allows for more moisture to return from the Gulf of Mexico.

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