James Spann: Long dry spell ahead for Alabama; Dorian weakens but still major

James Spann has the Alabama forecast and a Dorian update from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRY PATTERN: A very dry air mass will remain over Alabama this week; we are forecasting mostly sunny days and fair nights. A front will come through in dry fashion Wednesday night; there simply isn’t enough moisture to mention any significant chance of rain. Look for hot afternoons today and Wednesday; most communities will creep up into the mid 90s. Then, the high will be in the 89- to 92-degree range Thursday and Friday with cooler nights; some of the cooler spots across north and central Alabama will drop into the 50s early Friday morning.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND AND BEYOND: We see no real change Saturday and Sunday; expect a good supply of sunshine both days with a high around 90 degrees. Lows over the weekend will be in the 65- to 70-degree range. Most likely, dry weather continues through much of next week with little hope for a widespread rain event.

HURRICANE DORIAN: Dorian is now a Category 3 with sustained winds of 120 mph, and is still wobbling around the northern Bahamas near Grand Bahama Island. That island has been in the eye wall of the hurricane for more than 24 hours.

Important points:

  • Dorian is expected to more or less maintain its intensity for about 36 hours. After that time period, increasing vertical shear should cause gradual weakening. However, the system is likely to remain a major hurricane for the next few days.
  • Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast, users are reminded not to rely on the exact forecast track. A relatively small deviation to the left of this track could bring the core of the hurricane near or over the coastline.

  • Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian’s center. Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local emergency officials.
  • A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas, as well as from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida.
  • A Hurricane Watch is in effect north of Deerfield Beach, Florida, to Jupiter Inlet, and north of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to South Santee River, South Carolina.
  • The risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds continues to increase along the coast of North Carolina. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local emergency officials.
  • Dorian will not affect Alabama or the central Gulf Coast in any way.

POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE SEVEN: A tropical wave in the western Gulf of Mexico is expected to become a tropical depression or storm later today; it will be forced westward into the northern coast of Mexico by tomorrow night. Again, there will be no impact on Alabama or the central Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring several other areas in the Atlantic basin, but none of them presents a threat to the U.S. this week.

ON THIS DATE IN 1979: Hurricane David made landfall in south Florida as a Category 2 storm. It caused 15 deaths in the U.S. Hurricane David was a Category 5 over the Dominican Republic, where more than 2,000 people died.

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