James Spann: Warmer afternoon temperatures ahead for Alabama

PICTURE-PERFECT SPRING DAY: It is indeed a beautiful afternoon across Alabama — sunny sky, low humidity and comfortable temperatures, generally between 76 and 81 degrees at mid-afternoon. Tonight will be clear and pleasant.

TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY: Tuesday will be sunny and warmer; afternoon temperatures will rise into the upper 80s. Don’t look for much change on Wednesday; it will be partly to mostly sunny with a high between 85 and 89 degrees. We might mention a chance of isolated showers near the Georgia border, where moisture levels will be a tad higher. But most of the state will stay dry.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: An approaching cold front will bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms by Thursday afternoon. For now it looks like the best chance of severe storms will remain a little west of Alabama, but a strong storm can’t be ruled out. That front will stall somewhere over Alabama, keeping a chance of showers and storms in the forecast Thursday night and Friday. The high will be in the mid 80s Thursday and close to 80 on Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The surface boundary will drift around the state, keeping the weather unsettled. The weekend won’t be a washout, but occasional showers and a thunderstorm or two is certainly possible both days, if not likely. The sky will be occasionally cloudy with highs between 78 and 82 degrees. Severe storms are not expected.

NEXT WEEK: Monday looks fairly dry for much of the state, but the rest of the week looks fairly unsettled as a moist, unstable air mass moves up into the state. But, for now, severe storms are not expected during the week.

AIR QUALITY ALERT: A code orange air quality alert has been issued for Jefferson and Shelby counties for Tuesday because of the potential of high ground ozone levels. Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of heat and sunlight.

Nitrogen oxides come primarily from combustion of fuels in automobiles, coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers and gas-powered engines such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers. People with respiratory problems might consider limiting their time outdoors on code orange days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1967: An EF-2 tornado tore through the western part of the city of Birmingham that Saturday evening, just west of downtown. Some of the heaviest damage was along Lomb Avenue, near Rickwood Field and the GES store (the Walmart of the day). One person was killed and 25 people were injured along the four-mile path. Two homes were destroyed and 60 damaged. Thirty industrial buildings also were damaged.

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