ANOTHER HOT LATE AUGUST DAY: We are forecasting a high in the 90- to 94-degree range this afternoon with a partly sunny sky; afternoon showers and storms will fire up during the heat of the day, but they will be widely scattered, and many communities will stay dry. Birmingham’s average high for Aug. 28 is 90; the record high is 103, set in 1924.
REST OF THE WEEK: The upper ridge over the region will weaken, and as the air becomes more unstable afternoon showers and storms will increase over the latter half of the week. The odds of any one place getting wet will rise into the 40- to 60-percent range, with most of the showers and thunderstorms coming from 1 until 10 p.m. Heat levels drop a bit, with highs between 88 and 91; we expect a mix of sun and clouds each day.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Meteorological fall begins Saturday, but we all know it doesn’t magically turn cool. In fact, Alabama’s hottest weather has come in early September. The hottest temperature on record is 112, measured in Centreville on Sept. 5, 1925. It won’t be that hot this weekend, but highs will be near 90 degrees with a partly sunny sky Saturday and Sunday. We will also deal with random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: UAB kicks off the season with a Thursday night special at Legion Field in Birmingham, hosting Savannah State (kickoff is at 7 p.m.). A passing shower or storm is possible during the first half of the game; otherwise, look for a humid night with temperatures falling into the 70s.
Saturday, Auburn takes on Washington in Atlanta in Mercedes Benz Stadium (2:30 p.m. Central kickoff). Outside the domed stadium, afternoon temperatures will be in the 87- to 90-degree range with the risk of a shower or thunderstorm.
Then, Saturday evening, Alabama will take on Louisville in Orlando (7 p.m. Central kickoff). The weather will be humid, and a shower or thunderstorm is possible during the game. The kickoff temperature will be near 80, falling into the upper 70s by the final whistle.
NEXT WEEK: Not much change; highs will remain between 88 and 91 on most days. The sky will be partly sunny, and we will have the usual round of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms in scattered spots.
TROPICS: All remains amazingly quiet across the Atlantic basin for late August; tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.
ON THIS DATE IN 2005: Just after midnight on Aug. 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina reached Category 4 intensity in the Gulf of Mexico with 145 mph winds. By 7 a.m. it was a Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph, gusts up to 190 mph and a central pressure of 902 mb. At 10 that morning, meteorologist Robert Ricks with the National Weather Service office in Slidell issued the “doomsday” statement warning of “devastating damage … water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards.” The statement predicted “most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer.” Some national news agencies thought the bulletin was a hoax.
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ONE A DAY: I am in St. Louis at the National Weather Association annual meeting, so we won’t have an afternoon forecast post today. We’ll return to two-a-day posts on Wednesday.
For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.