NEWS

Going to the Iron Bowl? Weather forecasters say rain likely in Tuscaloosa

Ken Roberts
The Tuscaloosa News

Football fans should prepare for the possibility of rain at the Iron Bowl on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, weather forecasters say.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham predicts a 60% chance of rain Saturday, with a high of 65 degrees. Forecasters say fans can expect periods of rain during the game, with the temperature dropping to around 60 at the game's conclusion.

Daniel Martin of the National Weather service said the rain will be off and on all day.

"It's difficult to say precisely when the rain will occur," Martin said Wednesday. "There's also a small chance of a couple of rumbles of thunder. Hopefully, the rain will be gone by game time, but right now fans should be ready with umbrellas, ponchos and rain gear."

Umbrellas are prohibited at Bryant-Denny Stadium, according to the University of Alabama's athletics department website, www.rolltide.com. Fans will be allowed to bring ponchos inside the stadium.

A sellout crowd of 101,821 is expected at the game, which will kick off at 2:30 p.m. with CBS broadcasting to a national television audience. Gates to the stadium will open at noon.

The Tuscaloosa area forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain Thanksgiving night, with rain also likely during the day and at night Friday. High temperatures will be in the mid-60s, with lows Friday in the 50s and the mid-40s Saturday. The weather will clear up Sunday, with mostly sunny skies in the forecast and a high in the low 60s.

Alabama defensive back Malachi Moore (13) picks off a pass intended for Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz (1) in the Iron Bowl game with Auburn Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. [University of Alabama Photo]

Here's a look at the activities scheduled before Saturday's game:

SEC Nation will be broadcasting live from Wade Hall on the UA campus beginning at 9 a.m.

Fans can get autographs from UA's volleyball and rowing teams starting at 10:30 a.m. in front of Denny Chimes on the Quad.

The honorary game captains, offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell, who played at UA from 2005-08, and defensive back Charlie Peprah, who played at UA from 2002-04, will sign autographs at 11:30 a.m. at the Hibbett/City Gear display outside the stadium.

The Walk of Champions will be at 12:20 p.m. Fans can cheer the UA football players, Saban and the UA coaching staff members as they arrive by bus on the north side of the stadium. That's the side of the stadium that also includes statues of Alabama national championship coaches — Paul W. "Bear" Bryant, Saban, Gene Stallings Frank Thomas and Wallace Wade — along with Tuska, the 24-foot tall, 7-ton elephant sculpture.

The Elephant Stomp, a pregame pep rally featuring elephant mascot Big Al, the Million Dollar Band and UA cheerleaders, will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library on the Quad. The band will play the school fight song, "Yea Alabama," and then march down Colonial Drive, leading Crimson Tide fans into the stadium.

At 2:20 p.m. inside the stadium, UA will honor the 2022 football team's senior class. Players and their families will pose for photos with Saban on the field.

The pregame flag recipient will be Daniel Gustafson, a retired chief master sergeant with the Air Force. There will also be a pregame flyover featuring Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 based in Beaufort, South Carolina.

At halftime, retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and UA's CoSIDA academic All-Americans will be honored.

Also of note: The Authentic, a retail team store focused on selling officially licensed team apparel and student-athlete name, image and likeness merchandise, will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. until the end of the third quarter.

The Paul W. Bryant Museum, 300 Paul W. Bryant Drive, will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday. Kerry Good, a former UA running back, will sign copies of his book, "Goode and Faithful Servant," beginning at 10 a.m. Admission to the museum is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Children younger than 5, museum members and UA faculty, staff and students are admitted free.