James Spann: Strong storms continue across Central Alabama

SCATTERED STRONG STORMS: Radar shows scattered, strong thunderstorms across Alabama this afternoon. The more numerous ones are south of I-20 and are producing strong, gusty winds and lots of lightning as they move southeast. Away from the storms, we have a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s.

The scattered thunderstorms will end after sunset, as the air becomes more stable.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, hot, humid weather continues with more scattered thunderstorms, mostly between noon and 10 p.m. The Storm Prediction Center has introduced a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe storms for north and central Alabama. Like today, the heavier storms Friday could produce pockets of strong straight-line winds.

The high Friday will be at or just over 90 degrees for most communities.

THE WEEKEND AND BEYOND: We will keep a persistence forecast going. Look for partly sunny, hot, humid days with scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Again, most (but not necessarily all) of the storms will come from noon until 10 p.m. The chance of any one spot getting wet will be 50% to 60% Saturday and 40% to 50% Sunday through much of next week.

Highs over the weekend will be in the low 90s, followed by mid 90s Monday and Tuesday as the ridge west of the state tries to nose in here.

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

DROUGHT MONITOR: The new Drought Monitor released this morning shows pockets of dry conditions across Alabama, mainly over the southeast corner of the state, just south of Birmingham and over Jackson County in far northeast Alabama.

ON THIS DATE IN 2007: A tornado bounced across Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York, ripping off roofs and damaging dozens of buildings. The EF-2 twister hopscotched through Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge and Sunset Park neighborhoods around 6:30 a.m.

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