James Spann: A slight dip in temperature for Alabama, with scattered showers

RADAR CHECK: Most of the showers and storms across the northern half of Alabama are east of I-65 this afternoon. They are showing little movement, and will fade away once the sun goes down. Otherwise, we have a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures not as hot as recent days — generally between 85 and 90 degrees. The average high at Birmingham for Sept. 21 is 84 degrees.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change. The upper high will be weaker and centered east of the state, so we will maintain the mention of widely scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. The chance of any one event or community seeing rain is in the 20 to 30 percent range, and highs will be mostly in the mid to upper 80s. Most of the showers will come from 1 until 11 p.m.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Saturday, Alabama hosts Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny, and there is an outside risk of a brief, passing shower or storm during the game. Temperatures will hover between 87 and 90 degrees.

Auburn hosts Arkansas Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (6:30 p.m. kickoff). There will be a small risk of a shower during the first half; otherwise, it will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from near 86 at kickoff into the low 80s by the final whistle.

UAB has a bye week.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks rather unsettled; the sky will be occasionally cloudy each day with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. Rain distribution will be rather uneven, but it certainly looks like a week when many places will see a good chance of getting some needed rain thanks to a moist, unstable air mass. Highs will be in the mid 80s most days, and we are still seeing a big pattern change in a week or so that will deliver much cooler air into Alabama.

TROPICS: The National Hurricane Center is monitoring four disturbances in the Atlantic; none of them are expected to develop within 24 hours. The most interesting feature to watch is the wave coming off the African coast; there’s a good chance this becomes a tropical storm over the next few days as it makes the long journey westward. No systems are close to the U.S. at this point.

FALL BEGINS: The autumnal equinox is Saturday night at 8:54 p.m. — the day with approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, and the official beginning of fall.

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