James Spann: Several days of beneficial rain ahead for Alabama

THIS AFTERNOON: Most of Alabama is dry this afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds, along with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s. A few isolated showers have formed over the Tennessee Valley and to the west over Mississippi.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: A deep layer of tropical moisture will move into the region, and we will forecast mostly cloudy weather on these three days with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. There will be breaks in the rain, but showers are possible at almost any hour of the day or night. Heat levels come down, with highs mostly in the 80- to 85-degree range; some places could hold in the 70s most of the day Thursday and Friday because of clouds and rain.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The beneficial rain event continues. Expect occasional showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday with highs in the low to mid 80s. If you have something planned outdoors, there will be breaks in the rain, and you might even see a peek of sun from time to time, but the overall pattern is wet. There’s no way of knowing the exact start/stop times for the rain at any given location. On the positive side, no severe thunderstorms are expected.

Rain amounts between Wednesday and Sunday will be in the 3- to 5-inch range for much of Alabama. Keep in mind many places have received no measurable rain since May 12, so this soaking is very much needed.

NEXT WEEK: Showers remain possible Monday, but as the upper trough shifts east of Alabama, we will be mostly dry on Tuesday and for the rest of the week. Highs will be mostly in the mid to upper 80s for the first half of the week and close to 90 by Thursday and Friday.

TROPICS: It now looks like the disturbance in the southwest Gulf of Mexico won’t develop into a tropical depression (the National Hurricane Center has dropped the chance to 20 percent), but moisture from the system will stream into the southern U.S. later this week and over the weekend, enhancing the rain potential. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

ON THIS DATE IN 1966: A tropical disturbance that would develop into Hurricane Alma was over Central America, and while moving through Honduras it dropped heavy rainfall that killed at least 75 people in the city of San Rafael. After crossing Cuba, Alma intensified further to reach winds of 125 mph in the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane passed west of Key West, Florida, causing a power outage and flooding. Alma dropped heavy rainfall and produced winds across most of Florida, which damaged crops and caused scattered power outages. The hurricane weakened before moving ashore near Apalachee Bay. Damage in Florida was estimated at $10 million, and there were six deaths in the state.

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