James Spann: Only isolated showers for Alabama today; warmer days ahead

James Spann has the midweek forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

ON THE MAPS: A deep upper low continues to spin away over Tennessee this morning; this feature will keep temperatures over the northern half of Alabama below average today; most places will stay under 80 degrees. The average high for Birmingham on May 20 is 82. A few isolated showers could form this afternoon, but odds of any one spot getting wet are only 10% to 20%.

REST OF THE WEEK: Temperatures will gradually warm up; we expect a high in the low 80s Thursday, followed by mid 80s Friday. With the increased warmth comes higher instability values, and that could lead to a slow increase in the number of scattered showers or storms, especially by Friday. Otherwise, look for partly sunny days and mostly fair nights.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We are forecasting highs in the mid to upper 80s over the weekend, and the risk of random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms will remain in the forecast. You will see this most every day from now through summer. The odds of any one community getting wet will be around 40% Saturday and Sunday. Most of the showers will come from 1 until 9 p.m., and there isn’t any way of knowing in advance exactly when and where they pop up. You just have to watch radar trends.

NEXT WEEK: Classic late May weather continues with warm, humid days and a few scattered showers and storms each day. Highs will remain mostly in the mid to upper 80s.

RAIN UPDATE: Here are rain totals for the year so far, and the departure from average:

  • Birmingham — 39.94 inches, 17.86 inches above average
  • Muscle Shoals — 37.81 inches, 16.29 above average
  • Anniston — 37.68 inches, 16.31 above average
  • Tuscaloosa — 37.44 inches, 15.6 above average
  • Huntsville — 36.93 inches, 14.39 above average
  • Montgomery — 28.09 inches, 5.98 above average
  • Mobile — 15.94 inches, 8.83 below average

ON THIS DATE IN 1957: A tornado touched down southwest of Kansas City and traveled 71 miles, cutting a swath of near destruction through the southeastern suburbs of Ruskin Heights and Hickman Mills. The tornado claimed the lives of 45 people and left hundreds homeless. It was the worst weather disaster on record for Kansas City.

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