James Spann: More scattered showers for Alabama; Florence nears the coast

James Spann has the Alabama forecast and the latest on Florence from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRIER AFTER TODAY: We will maintain the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms across Alabama today as a moist, unstable air mass stays in place. The chance of any one location getting rain this afternoon will be in the 40 percent category; otherwise we expect a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the upper 80s.

Then, tomorrow through the weekend, we expect mostly sunny, hot days and fair nights. Highs will be around 90 degrees, and afternoon showers will be few and far between.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For high school games Friday night, the sky will be mostly fair with temperatures falling through the 80s.

Auburn hosts LSU Saturday afternoon (2:30 p.m. kickoff) at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The sky will be mostly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 90 degrees, falling into the upper 80s by the fourth quarter. The chance of a shower is very small.

Alabama travels to Oxford to take on Ole Miss Saturday evening (6 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly clear. The temperature will fall from near 88 at kickoff into the low 80s by the final whistle.

UAB hosts Tulane Saturday at Legion Field (noon kickoff). Temperatures will rise from 87 at kickoff to near 90 by the fourth quarter. There’s just a very small risk of a shower during the game.

NEXT WEEK: The big rain shield with Hurricane Florence will stay northeast of Alabama; the first half of the week looks mostly dry with only isolated afternoon showers. Expect partly to mostly sunny days, fair nights and highs generally in the upper 80s. A few showers and storms could return by Thursday and Friday with the approach of a cold front.

FLORENCE GETTING CLOSER TO THE COAST: Hurricane Florence is packing sustained winds of 110 mph, and will be nearing the coast of North Carolina, near Cape Fear, late tonight and early tomorrow morning.

Florence is a category two storm, and is expected to remain at that strength on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale through landfall. But it is important to understand this is a large storm in terms of wind, and there is still great potential for storm surge damage. Here are the key messages from the National Hurricane Center:

  • A life-threatening storm surge is now highly likely along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina and North Carolina, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for a portion of this area. All interests in these areas should complete preparations and follow any advice given by local officials.
  • Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians late this week into early next week. Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

  • Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect. Strong winds could also spread inland into portions of the Carolinas.
  • Large swells affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.

INVEST 95L: A tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico still has a chance of becoming a tropical depression today; it will move into South Texas tomorrow, bringing potential for heavy rain there. It will have no impact on Alabama or the central Gulf Coast.

ISAAC: This tropical storm will move through the Leeward Islands today, and then through the Caribbean over the weekend. It is a weak system with sustained winds of 45 mph; there is a chance it dissipates over the next few days because of shear. If it survives, it will be over the western Caribbean Sunday.

OTHER TROPICAL NOTES: Subtropical Storm Joyce and Hurricane Helene are in the eastern Atlantic, and they are no threat to land.

ON THIS DATE IN 2008: Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston, Texas. Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths. Of these deaths, 74 were in Haiti, which was already trying to recover from the impact of three storms (Fay, Gustav and Hanna) that had made landfall the same year. Seven people were killed in Cuba by Ike. In the United States, 113 people were reported killed, directly or indirectly. Because of its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kenedy County region near Corpus Christi, Texas. In addition, Ike caused flooding and significant damage along the Mississippi coastline and the Florida Panhandle. Damages from Ike in U.S. coastal and inland areas are estimated at $30 billion.

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