James Spann: Sun, heat, afternoon storms for Alabama on the Fourth

James Spann has the Fourth of July forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

HAPPY FOURTH: Classic summer weather is the story for Alabama on this Independence Day — partly sunny, hot and humid with scattered showers and thunderstorms during the peak of the daytime heating process. Most of the storms will come from 1 until 9 p.m., meaning a reasonable chance most (but not necessarily all) of the fireworks shows tonight should be rain-free. The chance of any one spot getting wet today is about 1 in 4, and the high will be close to 90 degrees. There’s no way of knowing this morning exactly when and where storms will fire this afternoon; you just have to watch radar trends.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Not much change. Highs generally will be between 90 and 94 degrees, with high humidity levels and random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms — routine July weather.

NEXT WEEK: Global models suggest drier air in the mid levels will creep into north and central Alabama by Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a reduction in the number of afternoon showers; otherwise, no major weather changes are expected, with highs most days between 92 and 95.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet; no tropical storms or hurricanes are expected for the next week. Over in the eastern Pacific, Hurricane Barbara continues to weaken. It is now packing sustained winds of 125 mph. The system is well west of the Mexican coast, and the weakening trend is expected to continue. By early next week it should be a disorganized tropical depression as it passes near or just south of the Big Island of Hawaii.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total since Jan. 1 is 28.94 inches, right at the seasonal normal value. The surplus is 0.1 inch. Other totals for the year so far include 30.8 inches at Tuscaloosa and 31.87 inches at Anniston.

ON THIS DATE IN 1776: Thomas Jefferson purchased a thermometer from a local merchant before signing the Declaration of Independence. According to his weather memorandum book, at 1 p.m. it was cloudy and 76 degrees.

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