James Spann: Isolated showers for Alabama through Thursday

RADAR CHECK: We have a few small, isolated showers on radar across Alabama this afternoon. Otherwise, the weather is dry with a mix of sun and clouds. Temperatures are well up in the 70s; a few spots have reached 80 degrees. Any showers tonight will remain few and far between as the really active weather remains well to the west of Alabama.

On Thursday, look for a partly sunny sky with only isolated showers. Temperatures will reach the low 80s by afternoon; it will be one of the warmest days so far in 2020. To the west, severe storms are possible Thursday afternoon and night in a broad zone from northeast Texas to Chicago and Cincinnati.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The good news is that the main dynamic support will lift north, away from Alabama, and we expect no severe thunderstorms on Friday as a cold front approaches. The best chance of rain will come from about noon to midnight Friday; amounts of one-half inch to 1 inch are likely. The high Friday will be in the 70s.

Cooler, drier air rolls into north and central Alabama Saturday. The sky becomes partly sunny with a high in the mid 60s. Clouds will increase Saturday night, and there will some rain at times Sunday statewide as the boundary over south Alabama lifts northward as a warm front. Rain totals Sunday should be around one-half inch; the high will be in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: We trend warmer again with highs mostly in the 70s; we could reach the low 80s by Wednesday or Thursday. The first half of the week looks relatively dry with only isolated showers. There’s still no sign of any flooding or severe weather in Alabama for the next seven to 10 days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1925: The great “Tri-State Tornado” occurred, the deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The storm claimed 695 lives (including 234 at Murphysboro, Illinois, and 148 at West Frankfort, Illinois), and caused $17 million property damage. It cut a swath of destruction 219 miles long and as much as a mile wide from east-central Missouri to southern Indiana between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The tornado leveled a school in West Frankfort, Illinois, and picked up 16 students, setting them down unharmed 150 yards away. Seven other tornadoes claimed an additional 97 lives that day.

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