James Spann: Upper high means very warm October weather to continue in Alabama

OCTOBER HEAT: The average high for Birmingham today (Oct. 2) is 80; temperatures this afternoon are generally in the 85- to 89-degree range with a good supply of sunshine. As usual, Tuscaloosa is the hot spot with 90 degrees. We note a few very small, isolated showers over the northern third of the state; they will end once the sun goes down.

REST OF THE WEEK: A strong upper high means little change — mostly sunny, very warm days and fair nights. The chance of any one location seeing an afternoon shower is less than 10 percent, and highs will remain in the 87- to 90-degree range. No records, but temperatures will run about 10 degrees above average for early October.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A very high-amplitude pattern develops across the nation, with a cold upper trough in the western states bringing below-average temperatures and mountain snow there, and the eastern ridge, which will feature summer-like weather. The ridge will continue to influence Alabama weather, meaning dry weather here Saturday and Sunday with lots of sun and highs in the upper 80s.

NEXT WEEK: No change for the first half of the week, but there is evidence a few showers or storms could return late in the week as the pattern begins to break down.

TROPICS: Leslie should become a hurricane tonight or tomorrow in the Atlantic, but it will stay far from land over the next five days. It will weaken late this week as it begins to gain latitude. A weak surface low north of Panama, in the southwest Caribbean, has only a 20 percent chance of developing over the next five days. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet. The hurricane season runs through the end of November.

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