Scott Martin: Cool, dry weekend for Alabama; warming trend starts Tuesday

STAYING COOL TODAY: High pressure will build to our northwest today, which will bring cooler, dry continental air across Alabama throughout the day. Temperatures started off in the upper 30s to the mid-40s, but plenty of sunshine should help us out a little and make us feel a little warmer. Highs will top out in the lower 60s to the lower 70s from north to south. Overnight lows will be in the upper 30s to the lower 40s.

MILD MOTHER’S DAY: We may start off the day with a few clouds on Sunday, but Mother’s Day will turn out beautiful as skies will be mostly sunny by the afternoon. While still below average for this time of year, temperatures will be warmer. Highs will range from the lower 70s in the north to the upper 70s in the extreme south. Overnight lows will be in the mid to upper 40s.

WORK WEEK STARTS OFF MILD; WARMING TREND STARTS TUESDAY: On Monday, ridging starts to build to our west and will help the trough over the eastern U.S. push on out to sea. It will be a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine, and looks to be the last day of these cooler temperatures. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 60s to the upper 70s.

A disturbance approaches Alabama from the west on Tuesday, but it looks like it will stay west of us throughout the day. We’ll have partly to mostly sunny skies with afternoon highs reaching the lower 70s to the lower 80s.

For Wednesday, the disturbance will continue to hang out just to our west. That will float some clouds in our direction, but it looks like we’ll stay dry for the most part. A stray shower or two may venture over the Mississippi state line into western Alabama, but that doesn’t look likely at this point. Highs will range from the lower 80s in the north to the upper 80s in the extreme south.

It looks like the showers will split around us on Thursday as much of the activity goes north of us while the rest moves to the south. We’ll have plenty of sunshine and afternoon highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

Friday may be our best shot for any showers as moisture from a disturbance in the Gulf moves up into southeastern Alabama. It may reach only as far north as the I-85 corridor and chances look to top out around 20%. Skies will be partly to mostly sunny and afternoon highs will be in the mid-80s to the lower 90s.

ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON: The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts June 1 and will go through Nov. 30. According to the experts at Colorado State University, 2020 may go down as a busy year. They are forecasting 16 named storms, including eight hurricanes. There is a 95% chance that a hurricane will move onshore along the U.S. coastline and a 69% chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline.

Here are the names on the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane list: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

If we happen to exceed the 21 names on the list, then names will be taken in order of the Greek alphabet.

A SPECIAL WEATHERBRAINS EVENT: On Monday night, WeatherBrains will have a treat for the fans of the show, with special guests who took part in the making of the “Mr. Tornado” episode of American Experience about Dr. Ted Fujita. Michael Rossi (writer, director, and producer of “Mr. Tornado”) and the legendary Dr. Greg Forbes (of The Weather Channel) will talk about their roles in the episode. Also joining the show is WeatherBrains alum Jen Henderson, who is writing a book on Fujita. WeatherBrains starts at 8 p.m. at or on James Spann’s Youtube channel. PBS’ American Experience: Mr. Tornado will premiere on Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. on your local APT channel.

ON THIS DAY IN 1895: Lightning struck some trees about 150 yards from a home in Alabama and followed the driveway to the home. The charge went through the house and burned all the electrical outlets, ruined appliances and blasted a hole in the concrete floor of the basement.

ON THIS DAY IN 1988: A massive cyclone in the central U.S. produced severe thunderstorms from eastern Texas to the Upper Ohio Valley. A strong F3 tornado ripped through Middleboro, Kentucky, causing more than $22 million damage. Thunderstorms in east-central Texas produced hail three-and-a-half inches in diameter at Groesbeck and near Fairfield.

For more weather news and information from James Spann, Scott Walker and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.

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