James Spann: Muggy May days for Alabama

Will the weekend be a washout? The Alabama forecast from James Spann from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

MOIST AIR HANGS OVER ALABAMA: The overall weather pattern won’t change much across Alabama through the weekend. Moist air stays in place, along with a broad upper trough. This sets up a rather unsettled forecast with the risk of showers and thunderstorms continuing daily.

There are many big outdoor events across Alabama this weekend. This is what you can expect:

  • The storms will still tend to be rather random and scattered, meaning rain distribution will be uneven. Some places will see heavy rain, others not that much.
  • It is impossible to tell you exactly when and where storms will develop far in advance; you just have to keep an eye on radar trends. Most of the showers and storms will come from 1 until 10 p.m., but we can’t rule out the chance of a late-night or morning shower.
  • The sun will be out at times, and afternoon highs will be in the 80s.
  • No organized severe thunderstorms are expected, but a few “pulse” type severe storms are possible with gusty winds and small hail.
  • Heavier storms will produce a good bit of lightning; when thunder roars, get indoors. For those who are in charge of outdoor events, if there is lightning within eight miles, everyone has to get inside, or into a vehicle.

NEXT WEEK: Still no real change — mixed sun and clouds daily, with scattered showers and thunderstorms remaining possible. Highs will be mostly in the mid to upper 80s, not far from seasonal averages for late May in Alabama.

Both global models (the GFS and the ECMWF) show some type of tropical low near the Florida Peninsula at the end of next week and at the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. The idea seems credible, but there’s no way of knowing details this far out. It’s just something to watch.

The Climate Prediction Center suggests precipitation will remain above average across the Southeast through the rest of May.

ON THIS DATE IN 1995: An F4 tornado struck near Huntsville, killing one person and causing extensive damage, including the destruction of the Anderson Hills subdivision. The tornado touched down just northwest of Athens. It tracked from that point through eastern Limestone County, through Harvest, Meridianville and New Market in northern Madison County, and ended near Princeton in northwest Jackson County. The strongest portion of the tornado’s path was near Harvest in northwest Madison County around the Anderson Hills subdivision and the Huntsville Dragway, which is the reason it is usually referred to as the “Anderson Hills Tornado.”

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