James Spann: Dry weekend for Alabama after scattered storms tonight, Friday

WATCHING THE RADAR: Scattered thunderstorms will likely develop across Alabama over the next four hours in a moist, unstable environment over Alabama and ahead of an upper low over Arkansas. Where storms do form, they could be strong with potential for small hail and strong winds; the Storm Prediction Center has all of Alabama in a low-end, marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe weather through tonight.

Temperatures are mostly in the low to mid-80s across Alabama this afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds. Scattered storms that form this evening will fade away late tonight.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The upper low over Arkansas will weaken into an open trough and lift northeast. A surface cold front will approach, and we will see scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday, mostly during the afternoon and evening. The best chance of them will come from 1 p.m. until midnight; the high will be in the mid-80s, very close to seasonal averages.

Then, much drier air will roll into Alabama over the weekend. We expect sunshine in full supply Saturday and Sunday with highs in the low 80s. Humidity levels will be lower and nights cooler. Many places will dip into the 50s early Sunday morning, very refreshing for the last day of May.

NEXT WEEK: Monday morning will be cool again with a low in the 50s, but then we will see slowly rising heat and humidity levels for the rest of the week. The weather looks generally dry, although a few widely scattered showers could show up late in the week.

HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS MONDAY: The official start of the hurricane season comes Monday. We have experienced two preseason tropical storms this month, Arthur and Bertha. The other names for the season are Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

ON THIS DATE IN 1973: An F3 tornado struck the northern portion of Athens, Georgia. Destruction was massive, with losses estimated at $10 million. Damage from the storm included 545 homes and 17 businesses. Hundreds of large trees more than 100 years old were destroyed.

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