James Spann: Showers few and far between for Alabama in warm days ahead

PLEASANT MAY DAY: The sky is partly to mostly sunny across Alabama this afternoon, and temperatures are generally in the low 80s, right at seasonal averages for mid-May in Alabama. The sky will remain mostly fair tonight with a low in the 60s.

REST OF THE WEEK AND THE WEEKEND: An upper ridge will continue to build across the Gulf Coast region, and the pattern will be warm and generally dry Thursday through Sunday. A few isolated showers could pop up on radar from time to time, but odds of any one spot getting wet will remain in the 10% to 20% range. Days will be partly sunny, nights mostly fair. Highs will be in the mid 80s, although upper 80s are likely by Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A weak surface front could bring a few widely scattered showers to the state Monday, but with little upper support and limited moisture, rain amounts, if any, should be light and spotty. Then the rest of the week looks mostly rain-free. The high Tuesday will drop to near 80, but we climb back into the 85- to 90-degree range by the end of the week.

There’s no sign of any heavy rain event or severe weather threat for Alabama over the next seven to 10 days. It’s safe to say we can stick a fork in the spring severe weather season across “Dixie Alley.”

TROPICS: A subtropical storm is forecast to develop just north of the Bahamas over the weekend; it will move northeast and is not expected to make landfall. It will, however, bring rough surf and rip currents to parts of the U.S. East Coast. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting a 70% chance of development, and the name will be Arthur. There are no tropical issues for the Gulf Coast; the weather there looks warm and dry for the next seven to 10 days.

ON THIS DATE IN 1995: An outbreak produced tornadoes extending from the Mississippi River near Burlington, Iowa, to the west of Bloomington, Illinois. Two violent tornadoes, each ranked at F4 intensity, were reported. The first tornado traveled 60 miles from near Fort Madison, Iowa, to the southeast of Galesburg, Illinois, producing more than $10 million damage. The town of Raritan, Illinois, was hit the hardest. The second violent tornado traveled 7 miles across Fulton County from Ipava to Lewistown, Illinois, producing $6 million damage.

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