James Spann: It’s summer in October in Alabama

ENDLESS SUMMER: A strong upper high will remain parked over the eastern third of the nation for the next five to seven days, meaning temperatures here will remain well above average. While we are experiencing October heat, many places in Montana are seeing their first snow of the season. The image below was captured outside the Glasgow, Montana, National Weather Service office at 7 Mountain Time this morning.

We are forecasting mostly sunny, warm days and fair nights through the weekend; afternoon highs will be in the 87- to 91-degree range, with lows between 68 and 72. Showers will be almost impossible to find; the chance of any one spot seeing an afternoon shower is only in the 5 to 10 percent range, not high enough to mention in the forecast.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For high school games across the state Friday night, the sky will be clear with temperatures falling through the 70s.

Alabama travels to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas Saturday morning (11 a.m. kickoff). The sky will be occasionally cloudy, and a passing shower or thunderstorm is possible during the game. Temperatures will hover in the mid to upper 70s.

Auburn will be on the road as well, playing Mississippi State in Starkville Saturday evening (6:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from the low 80s at kickoff into the mid 70s by the final whistle.

UAB will take on Louisiana Tech Saturday evening (6 p.m. kickoff) in Ruston, Louisiana. A few isolated showers are possible during the first half; otherwise, look for mostly fair weather with temperatures falling from the mid 80s into the 70s by the second half.

NEXT WEEK: Not much change, although daytime temperatures will slowly back down as the upper ridge weakens a bit. Most of the week looks dry with highs in the 80s. There’s still some good hope the pattern breaks down toward mid-month.

TROPICS: Hurricane Leslie is in the middle of the Atlantic, far from land. It will drift north, and then turn east later this week as it begins to weaken. A disturbance in the southwest Caribbean has a 30 percent chance of development over the next five days as it drifts northward.

ON THIS DATE IN 2002: Hurricane Lili made landfall on the Louisiana coast at category one strength; at one point it was a category four storm over the Gulf of Mexico. Lili caused extensive damage through the Caribbean, particularly to crops and poorly built homes. Mudslides were common on the more mountainous islands, particularly Haiti and Jamaica. In the United States, the storm cut off the production of oil within the Gulf of Mexico, and caused severe damage in parts of Louisiana. Total damage amounted to $925 million, and the storm killed 15 people during its existence.

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