James Spann: Showers remain possible in Alabama Thursday

RADAR CHECK: As expected, the bulk of the rain across Alabama today has been on the western side of the state, on the eastern periphery of Tropical Depression Gordon, now near the Mississippi River. So far there have been no tornado warnings in Alabama, but there was one warning for parts of Clay and Oktibbeha Counties in Mississippi earlier this afternoon (I have heard of no reports of damage).

TONIGHT/THURSDAY: A moist, tropical air mass has been pulled up into Alabama, and we will maintain the chance of scattered showers, and possibly a thunderstorm, tonight and Thursday. The high Thursday will be in the 80s with only a limited amount of sun. Like today, the more numerous showers will be over the western half of the state.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The upper ridge will grow stronger, and Friday and Saturday look hot, humid and mostly dry, with only isolated afternoon showers. Look For partly sunny days with highs around 90 degrees. A few scattered showers and storms are possible Sunday afternoon over the northern counties of the state as a surface front drifts down into Tennessee. Otherwise, Sunday will feature a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the upper 80s.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games Friday night, there will be just a small risk of a shower during the first half; otherwise it should be mostly fair and very warm, with temperatures falling though the 80s during the games.

Alabama hosts Arkansas State Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium (2:30 p.m. kickoff); the sky will be partly to mostly sunny with just a small risk of a shower during the game. The kickoff temperature will be close to 90 degrees, falling back into the 80s by the fourth quarter.

Auburn will host Alabama State Saturday evening at Jordan-Hare Stadium (6:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly fair with only a slight risk of a shower during the first half. Temperatures will fall from near 86 at kickoff into the upper 70s by the final whistle.

UAB travels to Conway, South Carolina, to take on Coastal Carolina Saturday evening (6 p.m. kickoff). A shower or storm is possible during the first half of the game; otherwise it will be warm and humid, with temperatures falling through the 80s during the game.

NEXT WEEK: We will mention scattered showers and storms for much of the week as the Tennessee front becomes stationary near the Alabama border. There’s no sign of any big push of cool air; highs next week should be mostly in the mid to upper 80s.

TROPICS: Florence is now a major hurricane out in the middle of the Atlantic with sustained winds of 125 mph. It will move toward the northwest over open water during the next five days.

There is a chance that a blocking high develops north of the system next week, pushing it toward the U.S. Atlantic coast. But, on the other hand, there is a chance it escapes out to sea before the high develops. The bottom line is that it is way too early to forecast the final destination of Florence. But folks on the East Coast need to keep an eye on it.

And, in the eastern Atlantic, a tropical wave is expected to become Tropical Storm Helene over the next 48 hours as it moves to the west/northwest. Again, it’s too early to know whether this will affect the Gulf of Mexico or North America.

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