James Spann: Lower heat levels, scattered showers and storms for Alabama

James Spann: Showers, storms increase in Alabama today from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

SUMMER SO FAR: For June 2017, Birmingham’s average high was only 85 degrees, below the June average of 87.5. So far in July, the average high is 91, right at the average level for the month. The hottest day was Friday (July 21), when the high in Birmingham was 96.

I know many have been complaining about the heat in recent days, but, generally speaking, this summer hasn’t been bad at all for Alabama. And the medium-range pattern (July 31-Aug. 6) favors below-average temperatures around here. Understand, that doesn’t mean cool — just not as hot.

TODAY/TOMORROW: We note a few scattered showers on radar early this morning over the northern third of the state; the air aloft today will be a bit colder, making the air more unstable, so we will forecast scattered showers and storms, mainly this afternoon and this evening. The best coverage this afternoon should be along and south of I-20. The heat backs off today with a high between 87 and 90 degrees for most communities. The average high for July 24 is 91 (for Birmingham).

Tomorrow will feature a mix of sun and clouds, with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms by afternoon. And, again, most places will see a high in the upper 80s.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Showers and storms should become fewer in number Wednesday and Thursday, with higher heat levels. Afternoon temperatures creep back up into the low 90s. A surface front will approach from the north Friday, meaning the coverage of showers and storms should increase again. The Global Forecast System is printing a high of 87 for Birmingham Friday afternoon.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The surface front will drift into north Alabama Saturday with a continued chance of scattered showers and storms, but the GFS model is advertising drier air moving into the state Sunday, with a good supply of sunshine and only a small risk of a shower. Expect a high in the upper 80s Saturday, then close to 90 Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Moisture returns early in the week, and we will forecast partly sunny days with some risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms daily. Highs should be 88 to 91, which is below average for early August in Alabama.

TROPICS: Dry air covers much of the deep tropics, and tropical storm formation is not expected across the Atlantic basin for the next five days.

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

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