James Spann: Showers, storms return to Alabama tomorrow afternoon, night

WARM, DRY AFTERNOON: With sunshine through high cirrus clouds, temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s across Alabama this afternoon. Nothing on radar here, but we are monitoring strong to severe storms west of the state over Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Clouds increase across Alabama tonight, and a few showers could reach the northwest corner of the state after midnight, but they should be in a dissipating stage.

TOMORROW: The Storm Prediction Center has a “marginal risk” of severe storms up for much of Alabama, for areas south of a line from Vernon to Vinemont to Scottsboro.

The latest guidance now suggests the primary window for showers and storms will come from about noon tomorrow through 3 a.m. Saturday. That doesn’t mean it will rain the entire time, but expect a few passing showers and strong thunderstorms. The most widespread rain will most likely come from 6 p.m. through midnight.

There will be a decent amount of instability for mid-May (surface-based CAPE values around 3,000 j/kg by mid-afternoon), but wind fields are expected to be weak, with very marginal lapse rates. Heavier storms could produce small hail and strong, gusty winds, but no tornado activity is expected. Rain amounts should average around one-half inch, with isolated heavier amounts.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Early morning clouds Saturday will give way to a mostly sunny afternoon; the high will be in the 75- to 78-degree range, a little below average for the middle of May. Sunday will be warmer with a good supply of sunshine; the high will be in the mid 80s.

NEXT WEEK: A deep, cold-core upper low will park over the western U.S., and we will be under the downstream ridge. This means the entire week will be dry with warm/hot afternoons; highs will be between 87 and 90, with lows in the 60s.

DROUGHT MONITOR: New data released this morning shows drought conditions continuing to ease across Alabama.

But, remember, we are forecasting dry conditions for at least seven consecutive days beginning Saturday.

Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

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