WARMING TREND: After four consecutive days with below-average temperatures across the northern half of Alabama, a warming trend begins today as the upper low to the north begins to weaken and lift out. We expect a high in the low 80s today; the average high for Birmingham on May 21 is 83. The sky will be partly sunny, and a few isolated showers are possible this afternoon.
FRIDAY THROUGH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND: We expect some pretty routine late May weather on these four days. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s, humidity levels will be higher, the sky will be partly sunny and each day we will deal with random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Odds of any one spot getting wet will be in the 30% to 40% range, and the showers will generally come in the window from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. There’s no way of knowing in advance exactly when and where the showers will pop up; you just have to keep an eye on radar trends.
NEXT WEEK: Don’t look for any real change Tuesday through Friday as we lapse into a typical early summer weather pattern. The main jet stream across North America will shift to the far northern U.S. and we will have very warm, humid days with a few pop-up storms each afternoon. Highs will remain in the 85- to 90-degree range.
STILL WAITING ON 90: Birmingham has failed to reach 90 degrees this year; we all know it can be extremely hot in Alabama in late May. While we are looking at warmer days ahead, it looks like highs will be in the 80s for most places through next week. FYI, the latest “first 90” on record came in 1983. Birmingham that year did not reach 90 degrees until July 1.
ON THIS DATE IN 1949: A violent tornado crossed the Mississippi River from the St. Louis area into Wood River, then to Roxanna. This tornado damaged or destroyed 300 homes in these two towns, killing five people. Four people died in a destroyed restaurant in Palestine, Illinois; one body was recovered from a tree. A tornado causing estimated F4 damage killed five people and injured 55 in St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri and Madison County in Illinois. This tornado was part of an outbreak that produced four tornadoes and was responsible for five deaths and 57 injuries.
ON THIS DATE IN 2001: Golfers participating in a tournament at the Majestic Golf Course in Hartland, Michigan, received an urgent message on the G.P.S. on their carts. The message, relayed from the clubhouse, was that a tornado was bearing down on the course. Most of the golfers made it to safety in the clubhouse, although some had to take shelter on the course. Only one golfer suffered a minor injury. The F2 tornado damaged 70 cars in the parking lot along with numerous golf carts and a pontoon boat.
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