James Spann: Alabama gets wet at times through the weekend

James Spann has the Alabama forecast heading into the weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

UNSETTLED SUMMER WEATHER: An approaching wave in the upper atmosphere will make the air more unstable across Alabama in coming days, and we are forecasting scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms through the weekend. We noted a few showers forming this morning before daybreak across the central counties of the state.

But the better coverage of rain will come this afternoon and tonight. A few strong thunderstorms will be involved; the Storm Prediction Center has a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) defined for the northern counties, generally along and north of I-20. The main risks are small hail and strong, gusty straight-line winds.

We are forecasting a high between 86 and 90 degrees today with only a limited amount of sun.

Don’t expect much change in the weather situation over the weekend. The sky will be occasionally cloudy, and a few passing showers and storms are likely tomorrow and Sunday. Most of the rain will come between 1 and 11 p.m., but a late-night or morning shower is certainly possible. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

NEXT WEEK: Weather conditions will stay wet at times Monday and Tuesday, but a surface front pushes into central Alabama Wednesday, pushing the best chance of showers and storms down into the southern half of the state. Rain amounts between now and the middle of next week will be in the 2- to 3-inch range for much of Alabama.

Drier air will cover much of the state Thursday, with lower humidity and cooler nighttime temperatures. Some of the cooler spots over north Alabama could see the upper 50s by Thursday morning. Friday looks mostly dry as well.

TROPICS: Ernesto is becoming post-tropical over the North Atlantic far from land, and a wave approaching the Windward Islands has only a small chance of development because of harsh upper-air winds in the area. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

LATE NIGHT FIREBALL: Many people across north Alabama saw an intense fireball around 12:30 a.m., with an associated sonic boom. We are awaiting word from our friends at the Meteoroid Environment Office at Marshall Space Flight Center for details.

ON THIS DATE IN 1969: Camille slammed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a category five hurricane. The storm caused tremendous damage in its wake, and also produced a peak official storm surge of 24 feet. The hurricane flattened nearly everything along the coast of Mississippi, and caused additional flooding and deaths inland while crossing the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Camille killed 259 people and caused $1.43 billion in damages.

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