WARM, WITH A FEW SHOWERS: The weather pattern in place across Alabama is more like June instead of May — warm, humid and a few widely scattered showers and storms today. A few small but noisy clusters of storms moved northward before dawn; most of those have dissipated.
The high today will be in the mid 80s with a mix of sun and clouds, and the chance of any one spot getting wet is around 1 in 5.
FRIDAY/SATURDAY: Showers and storms will be a little more numerous, but still scattered and random. The sky will be cloudy at times, and the high will be in the mid 80s Friday and close to 80 on Saturday. The best coverage of showers will come on Saturday, when any one spot has about a 50/50 chance of getting wet. But this won’t be a washout kind of day; just be ready for a few passing showers. A strong storm is also possible Saturday afternoon; the Storm Prediction Center has defined a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe storms for north and central Alabama.
Heavier storms Saturday afternoon will be capable of producing gusty winds and small hail. There is no tornado threat.
SUNDAY AND NEXT WEEK: Drier air returns to the state, and Sunday will be mostly dry with just a few isolated showers for far south Alabama. The sky will be partly to mostly sunny with a high in the low 80s. Dry weather continues Monday and Tuesday; then we will have a chance of scattered showers and storms Wednesday through Friday. But the ridge holds, and it will be a summer-type setup. Highs will be in the 80s during the week.
PRE-SEASON TROPICAL ACTION: Hurricane season begins June 1, but it is possible to have mischief in May. A disturbance over the Bahamas has potential to bring rain to the Florida Peninsula today, but it will curve northeast over the next 48 hours. Odds of development by the National Hurricane Center are only 20 percent over the next five days, and there will be no impact to the Florida Panhandle or the Alabama Gulf Coast.
ON THIS DATE IN 2010: May began with two days of historical rainfall over much of middle Tennessee, with a massive swath stretching along the I-40 corridor from Benton County to Davidson County. Some areas received nearly 20 inches of rain during this two-day period, the highest of which was 19.41 inches reported by an observer in Camden, Tennessee. Numerous rainfall records were broken at the Nashville International Airport, including the most rain received in a six-hour period, highest calendar day rainfall and wettest month, along with several others. Incredibly, the Nashville Airport experienced its wettest and third-wettest days in history on back-to-back days. Many area rivers exceeded their record crest levels, including the Harpeth River near Kingston Springs, which rose to 13.8 feet above the previous record. The Cumberland River at Nashville reached its highest level since flood control was implemented in the late 1960s, flooding parts of downtown Nashville. Waters from the Cumberland reached as far inland as Second Avenue, flooding many downtown businesses. Forty-nine Tennessee counties were declared disaster areas with damage estimates of between $2 billion and $3 billion statewide. Many Nashville landmarks sustained damage from floodwaters, including Gaylord Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry.
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