James Spann: Clouds linger in Alabama, with some light rain

James Spann: Alabama weather improves as Irma dissipates from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

IRMA CONTINUES TO FADE: Irma basically is dissipating over northwest Alabama early this morning; we still have some rain falling near the circulation center.

Clouds will linger across the northern half of Alabama much of the day today with some patchy, light rain, but nothing too heavy or widespread. The southern counties will see a pretty decent amount of sun with only isolated showers. Still a bit breezy — winds today will veer back around to the south by afternoon, averaging 10-18 mph.

Temperatures will remain well below average with a high in the upper 60s today. Yesterday’s official high in Birmingham was 66, a record low maximum for Sept. 11. In fact, while the rain was falling during the afternoon temperatures were only in the 50s, feeling more like January. Birmingham’s official rain total was 1.69 inches, also a daily record for Sept. 11.

Other rain totals yesterday included 2.79 inches at Heflin, 2.63 inches at Weaver, 2.15 inches at Rainbow City, 1.71 inches at Mountain Brook, 1.98 inches at Moody and 1.52 inches at Concord.

TOMORROW THROUGH FRIDAY: Tomorrow will be a day with more clouds than sun, and we will hang on to the chance of scattered showers with a high in the low 70s. Thursday and Friday will be warmer with afternoon temperatures going back into the mid 80s; looks like we will enjoy a good supply of sunshine both days with only isolated showers. Many communities will be dry on these two days.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The latest Global Forecast System run hints that there could be enough moisture to insert some risk of scattered showers in the forecast, but with a building upper ridge it still looks like most of Saturday and Sunday will be warm and dry. Any showers should be few and far between, and highs should be up in the mid to upper 80s, where we should be in mid-September. Remember, it can get pretty hot this time of the year — Birmingham has experienced triple-digit heat as late as Sept. 22 when the high was 100 degrees in 1925.

NEXT WEEK: The upper ridge holds, meaning warm and mostly dry weather for at least the first half of the week, with highs in the 80s.

JOSE: This is a minimal hurricane in the Atlantic well north of Puerto Rico, and well east of the Bahamas. It is expected to weaken into a tropical storm later today as it makes a loop across the open Atlantic. But it is forecast to restrengthen into a hurricane later this week as it moves northeast, parallel to the U.S. East Coast. For now, most global model guidance is suggesting it remains offshore, but it’s still too early to call a final destination.

Another wave in the eastern Atlantic is expected to turn north and remain far from land.

ON THIS DATE IN 1979: Frederic made landfall on the Alabama Gulf Coast, passing over Dauphin Island, and crossed the coastline near the Alabama/Mississippi border. A wind gust of 145 miles per hour was measured on equipment atop the Dauphin Island Bridge. The bridge was destroyed. A wind gust of 139 mph was measured at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab before the equipment failed. A storm surge of 12 feet was observed in Gulf Shores. Nearly all structures within 200 yards of the Alabama coast were destroyed. Total damages were $2.3 billion, making Frederic the most expensive hurricane to strike the United States up to that point.

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