SUN AND STORMS: A batch of showers and thunderstorms is passing through central Alabama early this morning; those will end soon. The midday hours look fairly quiet today, with intervals of sunshine and temperatures rising into the 80s. Then, more scattered thunderstorms form by mid to late afternoon and early tonight. Those storms could be strong, possibly severe in spots. The Storm Prediction Center has defined a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms for areas north and west of Birmingham, with a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for the rest of the state.
Heavier storms will be capable of producing strong winds and hail; tornadoes are not expected. Storms will fade late tonight, although a few showers could linger after midnight with an upper low still spinning away west of the state.
The upper low will finally weaken and begin to lift away from the region 24-48 hours from now, but scattered showers and storms will remain possible Friday. Otherwise, we will forecast a mix of sun and clouds with a high in the low to mid-80s.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Unusually dry air for the end of May rolls into Alabama for the weekend. We project sunny days; fair, cooler nights, and lower humidity levels Saturday and Sunday. Highs will be in the low 80s, and many communities will dip into the cool 50s early Sunday morning.
NEXT WEEK: The weather will stay dry for most of the week. Monday morning will be pleasantly cool with a low in the 50s; then we expect slowly rising heat and humidity levels for the rest of the week. Afternoon temperatures should reach the low 90s by the end of the week.
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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