James Spann: Summer rain continues in Alabama

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: The National Weather Service in Birmingham continues a flash flood watch for central Alabama through at least tomorrow as a very wet weather pattern continues.

A large area of rain, with a few embedded thunderstorms, continues to move across north and central Alabama this afternoon; the heaviest rain as I wrote this at 3:15 p.m. was over Bibb and Perry counties. Rain will continue at times tonight.

Birmingham reported 75 degrees at 3 p.m.; that is almost 20 degrees below average for Aug. 8.

REST OF THE WEEK: A surface front just to the north, near the Tennessee border, will drift northward and dissipate, leaving Alabama in a deep layer of tropical moisture. Occasional showers and storms are likely tomorrow through Friday, with potential for heavy rain at times. Of course, there will be breaks in the rain, and a few peeks of sun are possible. But the overall pattern remains wet. Additional rain amounts of 1 to 3 inches are likely, and some flooding issues are very possible.

Daytime temperatures will remain well below average for mid-August, with highs only in the 80s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: No real change. The sky will be generally cloudy Saturday and Sunday with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms both days; highs will hold in the 80s.

NEXT WEEK: The latest Global Forecast System run continues the idea of bringing drier air down into the northern half of Alabama Tuesday, suggesting a chance to dry out during the middle of the week.

FRANKLIN: Tropical Storm Franklin is moving back over water this afternoon; it will cross the Bay of Campeche tonight and tomorrow, with the final landfall on the Mexican coast well south of Brownsville, Texas, late tomorrow night or early Thursday morning. The latest National Hurricane Center forecast suggests the system will remain below hurricane strength.

INVEST 99L: The disturbance in the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa is still struggling because of dry air and shear; if anything survives, models suggest it will recurve off the East Coast of the U.S.

There are no tropical systems threatening the northern Gulf of Mexico for at least the next seven days.

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