James Spann: Alabama showers fewer in number so far this afternoon

RADAR CHECK: Most of the showers and thunderstorms are over the southwest part of Alabama this afternoon in a broad zone from Livingston and Demopolis south to Mobile. Still, a few showers or storms could form over north and central Alabama from now through about 10 tonight. The sky is partly sunny with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 80s for most communities.

THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Scattered afternoon showers and storms will be more numerous Thursday as colder air aloft drifts into Alabama, making the air more unstable. Then, we are forecasting scattered to numerous showers and storms Friday through Sunday as an unsettled pattern sets up. Most of the showers and thunderstorms will come from noon until 10 p.m., but we can’t rule out a late-night or morning shower over the weekend. The sky will be occasionally cloudy, and highs will drop into the 80s as heat levels fall.

NEXT WEEK: Scattered showers and storms, possibly numerous, will continue Monday and Tuesday, but global models are hinting at a pattern change late in the week that could push a drier, continental air mass into Alabama by Friday, Aug. 30.

TROPICS: Tropical Storm Chantal is packing sustained winds of 40 mph and is over the North Atlantic, far from land. It should dissipate within five days in that region. The National Hurricane Center is also watching a disturbance near the southeast Bahamas; it gives the wave a 20% chance of developing over the next five days as it moves just off the Southeast coast of the United States. For now it does not look like a Gulf of Mexico threat.

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: Tropical Storm Andrew was midway between Bermuda and Puerto Rico and turning westward into a more favorable environment. Rapid strengthening occurred, with Andrew reaching hurricane strength on Aug. 22 and Category 4 status on Aug. 23. After briefly weakening over the Bahamas, Andrew regained Category 4 status as it blasted its way across South Florida on Aug. 24. The hurricane continued westward into the Gulf of Mexico, where it gradually turned northward. This motion brought Andrew to the central Louisiana coast on Aug. 26 as a Category 3 hurricane. Andrew then turned northeastward, eventually merging with a frontal system over the Mid-Atlantic states on Aug. 28.

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