James Spann: A dry heat for Alabama

BLUE SKY: We have a fall-like sky over Alabama today, but summer-like temperatures. We are seeing mostly mid 90s at mid-afternoon, but the dew point at Birmingham has dropped to 61 degrees, with a relative humidity of only 32 percent. Earlier this week we had dew points in the 70s, making the heat oppressive.

Our weather will stay dry through Saturday with sunny days, fair nights and highs mostly in the mid 90s. On Sunday, scattered showers and storms are possible over the southern counties of the state as moisture levels begin to rise, but north Alabama will most likely remain dry.

NEXT WEEK: An upper trough will bring a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms statewide Monday and Tuesday; we can’t promise rain for everyone, but any one spot stands a 50/50 chance of getting wet both days. Then, the weather trends drier over the latter half of the week.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through early next week.

DROUGHT MONITOR: The new Drought Monitor was released this morning. Drought conditions have expanded a bit over the last week over the northeast corner of the state, the southern part of the Birmingham metro and southeast Alabama.

AIR QUALITY ALERT FRIDAY: A “code orange” air quality alert has been issued for Jefferson and Shelby counties on Friday because of ground-level ozone. The general public is not likely to be affected, but children, active adults and people with respiratory disease such as asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, especially during the afternoon.

ON THIS DATE IN 1983: Hurricane Alicia formed on this day and was the costliest tropical cyclone in the Atlantic since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. It struck Galveston and Houston, Texas, directly, causing $2.6 billion (in 1983 dollars) in damage and killing 21 people. This storm was the worst Texas hurricane since Hurricane Carla in 1961. Also, Alicia was the first billion-dollar tropical cyclone in Texas history.

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