James Spann: Strong storms this afternoon in Alabama

MORE SUMMER SOAKERS: As I write this, a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for the eastern part of the Birmingham metro for a thunderstorm cluster producing torrential rain, lots of lightning and gusty winds. It is drifting to the southwest.

Other strong storms are in random, scattered places across Alabama, and they will all fizzle out once the sun goes down. Away from the storms, the sky is partly sunny with temperatures in the 88- to 91-degree range.

REST OF THE WEEK: An upper ridge will begin to strengthen across the Deep South, meaning our weather will trend hotter and drier. We are not saying there is no risk of rain, but afternoon showers and storms will thin out greatly, especially Wednesday through Friday. And with a good supply of sunshine, temperatures will trend upward. Highs should be in the mid 90s over the latter half of the week.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change Saturday — hot, with hazy sunshine and only very isolated afternoon storms. Then the ridge begins to weaken a bit Sunday, with scattered showers and storms becoming more numerous. The high Saturday will be in the mid 90s, followed by low 90s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: For now it looks like very routine summer weather: hot, humid days and the daily round of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.

TROPICS: A tropical wave in the Atlantic has some chance of development in coming days; it will move through the Windward Islands later this week and into the southern Caribbean. This is a very low-latitude system, and it will either dissipate on the northern coast of South America or move into Central America if it survives. For now it seems to be no threat to the Gulf of Mexico.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

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