WARM SPRING WEATHER CONTINUES: With a partly sunny sky, we project a high in the 86- to 89-degree range across Alabama today. The average high for May 8 in Birmingham is 80. A few isolated showers could pop up over the southern half of the state this afternoon, but even there most places will stay dry.
Clouds increase tonight, and we will mention a few isolated showers as moisture levels rise and a decaying mesoscale convective system approaches from the west.
THURSDAY: A decent part of the day will still be rain-free; we expect a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the mid 80s. Showers and storms are possible by afternoon over west Alabama, and we will mention a chance of rain statewide Thursday night. The Storm Prediction Center has areas north and west of Birmingham in a marginal risk (level 1 of 5).
Thankfully the best dynamic support will lift well north of Alabama, and the overall severe weather threat is low. Some storms could produce small hail and gusty winds Thursday evening. There is no tornado threat.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A surface front will become stationary across Alabama, setting up an unsettled weather pattern for these three days. We will have the chance of occasional showers and a thunderstorm or two each day; the sky will feature more clouds than sun. We don’t expect any severe thunderstorms.
Many outdoor events are going on this weekend, including the Regions Tradition at Greystone and high school baseball playoff games. Unfortunately there is no skill in giving rain start/stop times at any specific point in a pattern like this. There will be some good breaks in the rain, but be ready for a passing shower or thunderstorm from time to time; they could come at any hour of the day or night. We believe the highest coverage of rain will come on Sunday.
Rain amounts between Thursday and Sunday will be in the 2- to 3-inch range for north Alabama, with lighter amounts for the southern counties of the state. The high will be in the low 80s Friday, followed by upper 70s Saturday and Sunday.
NEXT WEEK: The front finally gets a southward push Sunday night, and Monday and Tuesday look dry for most of the state with ample sunshine and a high between 78 and 82. A short wave will bring a round of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday, followed by drier air Thursday and Friday.
ON THIS DATE IN 2003: This was the second of three consecutive days with strong to violent tornadoes around Oklahoma City. A violent F4 tornado that affected Moore, Oklahoma City, Midwest City and Choctaw took on a path very similar to the May 3, 1999 devastating tornado. Although more than 130 people were injured in the 2003 storm, there were no fatalities.
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