James Spann: Warm afternoons for Alabama

James Spann forecasts a warm, dry stretch for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

WARM MAY DAYS: An upper ridge building across the Deep South will keep the major rain-producing systems well to the west and north of Alabama through the weekend. We are forecasting partly sunny days and mostly fair nights with highs in the mid to upper 80s on most days. The average high for Birmingham on May 14 is 81.

We can’t totally rule out a few isolated showers over the next four days, but odds of any one spot getting wet will remain in the 10% to 20% range. Most communities will remain rain-free. For Birmingham, there has been measurable rain on only one day so far this month, on May 8, when 0.09 inch was recorded.

NEXT WEEK: Global models show a cold front passing through the state Monday, which will bring a few scattered showers, but nothing especially heavy. Highs are now expected to drop back into the 70s for the first half of the week as an upper trough develops over the eastern third of the nation, and the chance of rain will be low through the middle of the week. Heat levels rise late in the week, and highs will be close to 90 by the following weekend, May 23-24.

TROPICS: A subtropical storm is forecast to form in the Atlantic just north of the Bahamas this weekend; it will move northeast and is not a threat to the U.S. It will bring rough surf and the danger of rip currents, however, to sections of the Atlantic coast. If the system forms as expected, the name will be Arthur. The National Hurricane Center continues to give it a 70% chance of development.

This is a preseason system; the hurricane season for the Atlantic basin technically begins June 1.

ON THIS DATE IN 1923: An early-morning, violent estimated F5 tornado cut a 45-mile path of destruction through Howard and Mitchell counties in Texas. Twenty-three people lost their lives and 250 sustained injuries. The path width of the tornado reached 1.5 miles at one point, and entire farms were “wiped off the face of the earth.”

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