THIS AFTERNOON: There is a huge temperature contrast across Alabama this afternoon thanks to a front over the southern counties. Places like Muscle Shoals and Haleyville are in the 60s, while Dothan, in the far southeast corner of the state, is in the low 90s as its endless summer continues. We are seeing temperatures around 80 for places like Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Gadsden and Birmingham. The average high for Oct. 8 at Birmingham is 78.
We do note a few very small, isolated showers over east Alabama; they won’t last long after sunset.
REST OF THE WEEK: Showers will remain very hard to find through midweek; the sky will be partly sunny with a high in the low 80s Wednesday, followed by mid 80s Thursday. Most of the day Friday should be dry with a high between 80 and 85; clouds should increase late in the day. A few showers could reach the state Friday night ahead of the next cold front.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: There are still significant timing differences in global model output concerning the cold front. The Global Forecast System is much faster, while the European model is slower. We will take a middle-of-the-road approach for now and forecast the best chance of rain between 3 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Moisture will be fairly limited and rain amounts should be light (less than one-quarter inch for most places). Saturday will be much cooler, with a high in the 60s. Parts of far northwest Alabama could hold in the cool 50s all day.
Sunday will be a picture-perfect autumn day with sunshine in full supply. After a low in the 40s, the high will be in the low 70s.
NEXT WEEK: Monday will be dry, but moisture and a chance of showers return Tuesday.
TROPICS: A potent hybrid storm system is developing off the U.S. East Coast. It will linger offshore for a few days and will bring very rough surf and strong wind gusts to the upper half of the Atlantic coast in coming days. Another disturbance in the Central Atlantic has a medium chance of becoming a depression or storm over the next few days, but it is far from land. The Gulf of Mexico remains quiet.
RACE WEEKEND AT TALLADEGA: A few showers are possible around the Superspeedway late Friday night or Saturday morning; Sunday looks picture perfect for the 1000bulbs.com 500 with sunshine in full supply. The high will be in the mid to upper 60s Saturday, followed by low 70s Sunday. Sunday morning will be chilly, with lows in the 40s.
FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games Friday night, the sky will be mostly cloudy and scattered showers are possible. Temperatures will be in the 70s at kickoff, falling into the 60s by the fourth quarter.
UAB will also be in Texas Saturday, playing at UTSA (kickoff at 5 p.m. Central Time). Temperatures will fall from near 70 at kickoff through the 60s during the game with a brisk northwest breeze. The sky will be mostly fair with no risk of rain.
Jacksonville State will take on Eastern Illinois Saturday (kickoff at noon Central Time) in Charleston, Illinois. The day will be cool and dry, with mid 50s at kickoff; sunshine will be in full supply during the game.
ON THIS DATE IN 1871: The Great Chicago Fire burned much of the city to the ground, fanned by strong southwest winds. An estimated 250 were killed. On the same night, forest fires swept through Peshtigo, Wisconsin. An estimated 1,500 to possibly as many as 2,500 died as gale-force winds pushed flames across town. Severe drought was blamed for tinder-dry conditions. An additional 200 died in Michigan fires.
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