James Spann: Afternoon showers, storms moving east through Alabama

RADAR CHECK: Showers and a few heavy thunderstorms are over east Alabama; at mid-afternoon some of the heaviest rain was falling in a band from Lincoln to Anniston to Heflin. And new showers are developing in the very moist air over west Alabama. Showers and storms remain possible through the evening; they fade once the sun sets. Away from the rain, temperatures are near 90, but many places are in the 70s and 80s because of clouds and showers. Some flash flooding developed this morning in northwest Alabama.

THURSDAY: For now, Thursday looks like a fairly routine summer day — partly sunny, hot and humid with random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. The chance of any one spot getting wet is about 1 in 4, and the high will be in the low 90s in most places.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: An upper trough will bring an increase in the number of showers and thunderstorms on these three days. The sun will be out at times and the rain will still be scattered and rather random, but most communities will see a good chance of one or two downpours. Most of the showers and thunderstorms will come from 1 until 9 p.m., but a late-night or morning shower can’t be ruled out. Highs will be in the 86- to 92-degree range.

NEXT WEEK: Global models continue to show a surface front approaching Alabama from the north, which will keep the weather unsettled Monday and Tuesday with a chance of showers and storms both days. The Global Forecast System model hints some drier air will enter north Alabama Wednesday, but we will believe that when we see it. Fronts rarely push deep into Alabama in mid to late July.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

ON THIS DATE IN 1987: Slow-moving thunderstorms caused flooding on the Guadalupe River in Texas, resulting in tragic loss of life. A bus and van leaving a youth summer camp stalled near the rapidly rising river just west of the town of Comfort, about 50 miles northwest of San Antonio. The powerful surge of water swept away 43 people, mostly teenagers. Ten drowned in the flood waters. Most of the others were rescued from treetops by helicopter.

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