James Spann: A few isolated showers, storms for Alabama today

James Spann: Unseasonably warm weather continues for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ON THE MAPS: A weak surface front is draped across Central Alabama this morning; it will become nearly stationary today, and bring the risk of a few showers or storms to the state. In fact, we have a few patches of light rain on radar early this morning over the western counties.

Most of the showers today will come during the peak of the daytime heating process, between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m — but the chance of any one spot getting wet this afternoon is only about one in five. Otherwise, today will feature a mix of sun and clouds, and the high temperature will be close to 80 degrees.

BIRMINGHAM BARONS HOME OPENER: The boys of summer are back; the Barons kick off their home schedule tonight at Regions Field. There is only a small risk of a shower during the first few innings of the game; otherwise, a great night for baseball, mostly fair with temperatures falling through the 70s.

TOMORROW THROUGH THE EASTER WEEKEND: The upper ridge will hold, and the weather looks generally warm and dry. Partly to mostly sunny, warm days and mostly fair nights. Highs will be in the 80- to 85-degree range, with early morning lows around 60 degrees. Moisture levels will rise a bit Sunday, and we might consider mentioning the risk of isolated showers in later forecasts, but for now we will keep it dry.

NEXT WEEK: A few widely scattered showers will be possible Monday and Tuesday with a weak surface front just north of here, but again, with the ridge aloft, rain amounts should be pretty light. The bottom line is that we still don’t see any big precipitation events coming up over the next seven to 10 days around here.

PATTERN CHANGE? We sure don’t want the ridge to hold all the way through summer; that could suggest that drought conditions will worsen again across the state. But output from the European ensemble suggests the ridge could break down late this month and through May; most members look pretty wet in the 15- to 45-day time frame. Let’s hope this verifies.

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