James Spann: Sun, heat, storms for Alabama

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for Thursday through the weekend from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

SCATTERED STORMS FIRE UP AGAIN TODAY: We are in that time of the year when the weather forecast will mention “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms” daily, and we will have them around again later today. Odds of any one spot getting wet today are around 1 in 3; otherwise the sky will be partly sunny with a high generally in the low 90s.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Showers and storms should be a little more numerous on these three days, with the chance of any one place getting wet running in the 40% to 50% range. Most of the showers and thunderstorms will come from 1 until 11 p.m., but a morning or late-night shower certainly can’t be ruled out. Like most summer days, the thunderstorms will be pretty random, and there is no way of knowing in advance exactly when and where they form. Look for a mix of sun and clouds each day with highs between 87 and 92.

NEXT WEEK: Global models continue to advertise a rather high-amplitude pattern for summer, with an upper trough developing over the eastern half of the nation. A surface front will approach from the north, giving a higher coverage of showers and thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday. Drier air could slip into the northern half of the state Wednesday and Thursday, but fronts rarely get that deep into our state this time of the year. But we will scale back the chance of showers on those two days to mainly south Alabama.

The Climate Prediction Center in its outlook for July 25-31 does show below-average temperatures for the eastern two-thirds of the United States. For us, this doesn’t mean “cool,” but “not as hot.”

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

ON THIS DATE IN 1996: A massive rainstorm in north-central and northeast Illinois led to widespread flooding. Aurora reported 16.94 inches of rain, establishing a state record for the most rain in a single day. Other heavy totals included 13.6 inches at Joliet, 9.24 inches in Wheaton, 8.09 inches in DeKalb and 7.82 inches at Elgin. This event is often called “the second most damaging weather disaster in Illinois history.”

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