James Spann: Soggy summer weather pattern settles in over Alabama

James Spann: Alabama’s weather wet, unsettled for at least the next five days from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WET AT TIMES: A fairly large rain mass covers much of central Alabama early this morning, and we will maintain a good chance of rain at times through tonight as copious amounts of tropical moisture continue in the air over our state. Some thunder is possible as well, but severe weather is not expected. Like yesterday, we won’t get out of the 80s because of clouds and showers.

There is a surface front this morning near the Alabama/Tennessee border; this will creep southward, and slightly drier air will slip into the far northern part of the state this afternoon. So, if you are in Huntsville, Florence or Scottsboro, there is a decent chance much of the afternoon will be rain-free. But for the rest of the state, periods of rain are likely.

REST OF THE WEEK: The surface front will ease northward tomorrow and dissipate, and a deep layer of moisture will stay parked across the Deep South, meaning the unsettled summer weather will continue. Each day will feature a mostly cloudy sky with a good chance of rain at times and a few thunderstorms. I would not be surprised to see a flash flood watch issued for parts of the state before the week is over; rain amounts between now and Friday should be in the 2- to 4-inch range.

On the positive side, we won’t have to deal with the typical scorching heat we expect in August; highs will remain in the 80s. In fact, there is no sign of any 90-degree heat through early next week.

THE WEEKEND: Same situation; the soggy setup continues. Deep tropical moisture and a broad trough aloft will mean scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. There will be some good breaks in the rain, and you might even see a few peeks of sun, but be ready for a shower or storm at just about any hour of the day or night.

NEXT WEEK: The Global Forecast System is hinting that drier air could filter into the northern half of Alabama by Tuesday; if by chance this verifies, our weather will trend drier and hotter by midweek. But that is just an idea that could very well come back off the table in coming days.

FRANKLIN IS INLAND FOR NOW: Tropical Storm Franklin is over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico early this morning with sustained winds of around 50 mph. It will come back out over the Bay of Campeche in the far southwest Gulf of Mexico tonight, and make a second landfall late tomorrow night or Thursday morning on the Mexican coast, well south of Brownsville, Texas. There is a chance this becomes the first hurricane of the season in the Atlantic basin tomorrow.

Franklin will not impact the northern Gulf of Mexico at all; no issues for the Alabama or northwest Florida Gulf Coasts.

Another weak disturbance is over the central Atlantic, about halfway between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles, but it is fighting shear and dry air, and odds of survival for now look pretty low.

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