James Spann: Very warm weekend ahead for Alabama

RADAR CHECK: We have a few small, scattered showers over western Alabama this afternoon; they are moving northward and will dissipate after sunset. For the rest of the state, we have a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the 80s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Don’t expect much change over the weekend. Look for partly sunny conditions Saturday and Sunday with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Showers are possible, but they will be very isolated. We do expect a slow increase in the number of showers late Sunday and Sunday night ahead of a cold front and developing upper low over the Southeast.

NEXT WEEK: The weather will be cooler over the first half of the week, with highs dropping back down into the 70s. Scattered showers will remain possible Monday under the upper low, but rain amounts will be light. At this point the rest of the week looks rain-free. Temperatures will return to the 80s by Thursday and Friday.

TROPICS: A preseason tropical or subtropical storm is forecast to develop near the northern Bahamas over the weekend; the National Hurricane Center gives it a 90% chance of developing (the name will be “Arthur”). The system will move northeast and will most likely remain off the U.S. Atlantic coast, but it will bring potential for dangerous surf and rip currents there.

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin begins June 1.

DRY MAY: Birmingham has experienced measurable rain on only one day this month, May 8, when the total was 0.09 inch. Of course, we still have a big surplus for the year, thanks to the wet months from January through April. The total for the year is 38.83 inches, 17.58 inches above average.

To the south, the Alabama Forestry Commission has issued a Fire Danger Advisory for 15 counties in south Alabama: Baldwin, Choctaw, Coffee, Clarke, Conecuh, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe and Washington. Dry conditions combined with low humidity, high temperatures and gusty winds are creating dangerous wildfire behavior. Although the state is not under any type of burn restriction, the Commission urges everyone to delay outdoor burning until conditions improve. As always, call the Alabama Forestry Commission for a burn permit. In counties under Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) restrictions, burn permits are issued for agricultural and silvicultural burning only.

ON THIS DATE IN 1957: An F4 tornado killed 20 people in Silverton, Texas. A 5,000-pound gasoline storage tank was reportedly carried 1.5 miles and dropped into a lake. Residents said the tornado “looked like red sand, boiling and rumbling.”

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