James Spann: Moisture levels slowly rise in Alabama during coming days

RADAR CHECK: As expected, the northern half of Alabama is rain-free this afternoon; with a good supply of sunshine, temperatures are mostly in the low 90s, right at seasonal averages for mid-July. A few showers and storms are on radar across the southern counties of the state, but they are widely spaced, and will fade quickly after sunset.

MIDWEEK: Moist air will slowly work northward, and we will bring back the chance of a few afternoon and evening showers and storms tomorrow as far north as Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston and Gadsden. Otherwise, the day will be partly sunny with a high in the low 90s. Then, fairly typical midsummer weather is likely Wednesday and Thursday. A good supply of morning sunshine; then a few random, scattered afternoon and evening showers and storms, mostly between 2 and 9 p.m. The chance of any one spot getting wet will be in the 30 percent range, and the high will remain in the low 90s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: For now we just don’t see any reason to depart from the standard summer forecast, although moisture might be a tad deeper, and a surface front will be approaching from the north over the weekend. Each day will feature a mix of sun and clouds, and we will deal with scattered showers and thunderstorms mostly during the peak of the daytime heating process. Afternoon highs will remain mostly in the 90- to 93-degree range.

NEXT WEEK: Not much change; the Global Forecast System tries to bring some drier air down into North Alabama early in the week, but considering this is mid-July, we will believe that when we see it.

TROPICS: Sure looks like the system formerly known as Tropical Depression 4 is trying to get its act together again northeast of Puerto Rico this afternoon. Convection has increased, and a low-level center could be forming. This feature will be moving to the west; just something to watch for now.

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