James Spann: Occasional showers, storms for Alabama through the week

RADAR CHECK: As expected, we have a number of showers and thunderstorms in progress across Alabama this afternoon; they are moving slowly northward. Some are producing heavy rain and lightning, but they are all well below severe limits.

We will maintain the chance of showers tonight in the moist, unstable air over Alabama.

REST OF THE WEEK: Not much change; we will forecast occasional showers and thunderstorms daily through Friday. There will be breaks in the rain, and the sun will pop out at times, but the overall pattern looks pretty wet through at least Thursday.

A surface front will enter north Alabama Wednesday night or Thursday, but unfortunately it now looks like the front will run out of gas before it can push to the Gulf of Mexico. This means the dry air with lower humidity will stay just north of our state, perhaps slipping into the northwest counties Thursday.

Showers should be fewer in number Friday as the upper trough lifts out and the front slowly begins to dissipate. Highs this week will be mostly in the 80- to 85-degree range; some communities will hold in the 70s Thursday mainly because of clouds and rain.

Rain amounts between now and Friday will be in the 1- to 2-inch range for some; a few places could see more. This is beneficial rain; Birmingham has received less than one inch (0.89) of rain during the entire month of September, so conditions are getting pretty dry around here. In fact, the last day with more than one-half inch of rain was back on Aug. 1.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Looks like we will experience a mix of sun and clouds Saturday and Sunday with potential for scattered showers and thunderstorms both days, mainly during the afternoon and evening hours. The chance of any one spot getting wet both days is in the 30 to 40 percent range, and highs will be in the mid 80s.

NEXT WEEK: Not much change. We’re keeping an eye on the wave train in the mid-latitude westerlies to the north. One of those will finally beat the persistent ridge and bring down cooler, drier continental air.

TROPICS: Former Tropical Depression Kirk is now an open wave in the Atlantic; there’s some chance it tries to redevelop over the next few days as it moves toward the Windward Islands. Subtropical Storm Leslie should become post-tropical in a few days far from land. And the “ghost of Florence” is hanging around off the U.S. Atlantic coast; if anything redevelops there it should remain offshore. No systems are threatening the Gulf of Mexico.

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