James Spann: Scattered to numerous showers, storms for Alabama through Sunday

James Spann forecasts unsettled weather for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

A FEW STRONG STORMS LATER TODAY: We have a few light rain showers over northwest Alabama early this morning, but most of the state is dry with temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s. To the west, a large mass of rain covers the broad zone from Memphis down into north Louisiana. Much of this is expected to dissipate before reaching Alabama, but additional showers and storms are expected to form this afternoon and early tonight. Where storms do form, they could be strong, and the Storm Prediction Center has much of the state in a marginal risk (level 1 of 5).

A few storms across Alabama later today and this evening could produce small hail and gusty winds. The better chance of heavier storms will come from about 2 until 8 p.m. Otherwise, today will feature more clouds than sun with a high in the low 80s.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A surface front will go stationary over the area, keeping the weather unsettled. I actually think a decent part of the day Friday will be dry, but a passing shower or two is certainly possible, and maybe even a thunderstorm. The sky will be mostly cloudy with a high not too far from 80 degrees.

Showers and storms are possible Saturday and Sunday. With so many outdoor events going on, including the Regions Tradition at Greystone, here are the key points:

  • It is impossible to give specific rain start/stop times for any specific location. Just be ready for an occasional passing shower or thunderstorm.
  • Showers are possible at any hour of the day or night, but they should be most numerous during the afternoon and evening hours.
  • Of the two days, the most widespread rain will most likely come on Sunday. Even then there will be some good breaks in the wet weather.
  • A few strong storms are possible; the SPC has the northern two-thirds of the state in a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) Saturday. I think the chance of a few severe storms is actually a bit higher on Sunday when some dynamic forcing comes into play and wind fields are more robust.
  • Remember, when you hear thunder, get indoors, even if it is not raining.
  • Rain amounts between now and Sunday night will be in the 2- to 3-inch range for the northern half of Alabama.
  • Look for a high between 77 and 81 degrees Saturday and Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: The front finally gets a good southward push Sunday night, and dry air returns. Monday and Tuesday look dry and pleasant with afternoon highs between 77 and 80 degrees. We will mention a chance of showers and storms Wednesday, but models are trending drier, suggesting the main threat will be south of here.

ON THIS DATE IN 1995: An F3 tornado produced $10 million in damages along its 40-mile path across central Illinois. The tornado caused significant damage in Cantrall, where three homes were destroyed, 10 had significant damage and 11 had minor damage. The roof and interior of a grade school suffered extensive damage. The tornado passed about 2 miles southeast of the new National Weather Service Office in Lincoln, Illinois.

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