James Spann: Alabama heat continues; rain chances increase by Sunday

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

STILL HOT: We are forecasting highs in the mid 90s each afternoon through Friday as a strong upper ridge holds across the Southeast, with just a few isolated thunderstorms during the peak of the daytime heating process. The chance of any one spot getting wet is 20% today and only 10% Thursday and Friday.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Saturday will feature a mix of sun and clouds, and a few scattered showers or storms are possible, especially during the afternoon and evening. On Sunday, rain chances will increase as a tropical feature moves northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. The highest coverage will most likely come over the southern two-thirds of the state, where deep tropical moisture will be in place. The high will be close to 90 Saturday, falling into the low to mid 80s Sunday with the increase in clouds and rain.

NEXT WEEK: Beneficial rain is very possible for much of Alabama Monday through Wednesday as tropical moisture will cover the state and the tropical system slowly works northward. But with a tropical system, confidence in specific weather details is low this far in advance. It’s too early to know the exact placement and timing of the heaviest rain across the Deep South, but the pattern certainly favors some needed rain for our state. The weather should trend drier late in the week.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The sky should be mostly clear for the high school games Friday night, with temperatures falling from the mid 80s at kickoff to near 80 by the final whistle.

Saturday, Alabama travels to Columbia to take on South Carolina (2:30 p.m. Central kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny with a kickoff temperature close to 90 degrees, falling back slightly into the upper 80s by the fourth quarter.

Auburn hosts Kent State Saturday evening at Jordan-Hare Stadium (6:30 kickoff). We can’t rule out the risk of a passing shower during the game; otherwise it will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from around 88 at kickoff into the low 80s by the end of the game.

Jacksonville State has a home game Saturday against Eastern Washington (3 p.m. kickoff). A few scattered showers are possible over east Alabama during the game; otherwise expect a mix of sun and clouds with a temperature of 89 degrees at kickoff, falling into the mid 80s by the fourth quarter.

TROPICS: Two low-latitude waves are in the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa; for now the National Hurricane Center gives both of them just a low chance of development over the next five days.

Invest 95L, near the southeast Bahamas, is forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, and the NHC has upped the chance of development to 40%. There is a chance this becomes Tropical Storm Humberto before it moves into the central Gulf Coast late Sunday or Monday. One way or another, this feature will bring lots of rain to the Gulf Coast beginning Saturday, and then moving inland Sunday and into early next week. We will keep a close eye on it in coming days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1979: Frederic reached peak intensity in the Gulf of Mexico with a minimum barometric pressure of 943 mb and sustained winds of 130 mph, making the cyclone a Category 4 hurricane. It would make landfall on the Alabama coast the following night.

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: Hurricane Iniki struck the island of Kaua’i with winds of 145 mph and a central pressure of 27.91 inches of mercury, making it a Category 4 hurricane.

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