James Spann: Strong storms over parts of Alabama

RADAR CHECK: A disturbance riding down the eastern periphery of the upper high, which represents the bubble of hot air over the middle of the nation, is producing a number of showers and storms over central and east Alabama this afternoon. They are producing heavy rain, gusty winds and a good bit of lightning as they move south. Our Skywatcher at Weaver, in Calhoun, reports one inch of rain in only 20 minutes.

Clay County EMA reports lightning caused a housefire on Fourth Street East in Ashland during a passing storm earlier this afternoon.

Away from the storms, it is a hot, humid afternoon with temperatures in the low to mid 90s. The hottest temperatures are over far west and northwest Alabama; Muscle Shoals is up to 97 as I write this. Columbus, Mississippi, reports 99.

TOMORROW AND THE WEEKEND: The air aloft will be a bit colder, making the air more unstable. Accordingly, we expect a general increase in the number of scattered showers and storms each day, with heat levels slowly dropping. The high will be in the 92- to 95-degree range tomorrow and close to 90 Saturday. Many spots will remain below 90 Sunday.

There’s no way to resolve specific placement and timing of individual storms on summer days in advance; just be ready for a few passing thunderstorms over the weekend. Most of the storms will come from noon until 8 p.m., but a late-night or morning shower can’t be ruled out completely.

NEXT WEEK: Scattered to numerous showers and storms are a good possibility Monday and Tuesday with a mix of sun and clouds. The Global Forecast System continues to suggest we trend drier Wednesday through Friday, with afternoon storms becoming fewer in number.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

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