James Spann: Dry weather for Alabama through Saturday

James Spann has the midweek forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

FOGGY START: A dense fog advisory is in effect for northeast Alabama this morning; visibility is very restricted in many areas, but that fog should dissipate by mid-morning. Otherwise, today will be partly to mostly sunny over most of Alabama; the high will be in the upper 80s this afternoon.

THURSDAY THROUGH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND: A very dry air mass will cover the state. Look for sunny days, lower humidity and cooler nights through Saturday. Highs will be in the 87- to 90-degree range, lows mostly in the 60s. Cooler pockets across north and central Alabama will visit the 50s early Thursday morning. Moisture levels will rise a bit Sunday and Monday, and we will mention widely scattered showers both days, but nothing widespread. The sky will be partly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 80s.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: The weather looks generally dry as Dorian stays east of Alabama — mostly sunny days and fair nights, and showers should be few and far between. Highs will be mostly in the 87- to 91-degree range.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: UAB will host Alabama State Thursday night at Birmingham’s Legion Field; the kickoff is at 7. The weather will be delightful — a clear sky with temperatures falling from near 85 at kickoff into the 70s during the second half.

Alabama will take on Duke in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta (2:30 p.m. Central kickoff). The game will be played indoors at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but outside the sky will be mostly sunny. Temperatures will peak close to 90 in Atlanta Saturday afternoon.

Auburn travels to Dallas/Fort Worth to take on Oregon at AT&T Stadium Saturday evening (6:30 Central kickoff). Temperatures will top out in the mid 90s during the day Saturday with a sunny sky, falling though the 80s during the game.

TROPICAL STORM ERIN: This system is in the Atlantic, well east of the U.S. coast, with sustained winds of 40 mph. It will move northeast and become post-tropical Thursday as it approaches Nova Scotia.

TROPICAL STORM DORIAN: Dorian is packing sustained winds of 60 mph and will move over Puerto Rico today. From there, it is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday night east of the Bahamas. The latest National Hurricane Center track puts it near the upper Atlantic coast of Florida late Sunday night, not too far from Daytona Beach.

Here are some important points this morning:

  • Uncertainty in the intensity forecast late this week remains higher than usual because of a large spread in the model guidance. But there is a chance Dorian could be a significant hurricane as it approaches the Florida Atlantic coast late in the Labor Day weekend.
  • The threat of tropical storm or hurricane conditions, along with storm surge, in the northwestern Bahamas and along portions of the Florida east coast (not the Gulf Coast) have increased. Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Dorian and ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.
  • Confidence is growing that Dorian will recurve into the mid-latitude westerlies east of Alabama, keeping our state on the “dry side” of the system. For now we expect little impact, but this is not completely carved in stone.
  • There is a chance Dorian could recurve offshore, but ensemble output from computer models suggest this will happen just inland over North Florida and Georgia. There will most likely be some impact across the Carolinas as well.
  • There will be little if any direct impact along the Gulf Coast over the Labor Day weekend (places like Gulf Shores, Destin and Panama City Beach). A few showers and storms are possible there, mainly Sunday and Monday, but it is the typical late summer activity.

The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

ON THIS DATE IN 2005: Hurricane Katrina attained Category 5 status on the morning of Aug. 28 and reached its peak strength at 1 p.m. that day, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph and a minimum central pressure of 902 mb. It would make landfall the following day as a Category 3 hurricane near Buras, Louisiana, with sustained winds of more than 125 mph.

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