James Spann: Alabama’s weather turning wet

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for midweek and beyond from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

BENEFICIAL RAIN AHEAD: Based on data at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, the last measurable rain was on May 16. We now have a rain deficiency of 0.35 of an inch for the year, and much of the soil moisture has been depleted. So a pattern change isn’t necessarily bad news. Deep tropical moisture will move up into our state today, and that, combined with an approaching upper trough, will bring several days of wet weather.

Rain is creeping into west Alabama this morning; we expect periods of rain today, and possibly a thunderstorm, with a high in the mid 80s.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Wet weather continues with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms both days. Rain could be heavy at times, especially along the Gulf Coast. There is a moderate risk of flooding along the Alabama coast Friday.

Many places won’t get out of the 70s because of clouds and rain.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Very high precipitable water values will be in place; occasional showers and thunderstorms are likely Saturday and Sunday with highs between 78 and 83. There will be breaks in the rain, of course, but the pattern is pretty wet. On the positive side, we don’t expect any severe thunderstorms. Rain is likely Monday of next week as well.

Rain totals across Alabama between now and Monday will be in the 3- to 5-inch range, with potential for more than 6 inches along the Gulf Coast.

THE REST OF NEXT WEEK: Drier air finally returns to the state Tuesday with a partly to mostly sunny sky, and the weather looks generally dry Wednesday through Friday with a warming trend. We reach the low 90s by the end of the week.

TROPICS: Tropical storm or hurricane formation is not expected across the Atlantic basin through the weekend.

ON THIS DATE IN 1976: When water began leaking from Idaho’s new Teton Dam, there seemed to be no cause for alarm. On this date, warnings were frantic that the dam was about to break. As workers tried to shore up the dam, it crumbled shortly after 11 a.m., sending 180 billion gallons of water pouring through Teton Canyon. Eleven people lost their lives, but the toll would have been much higher if the dam had failed at night and residents had been asleep.

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