James Spann: Alabama’s unsettled weather continues through midweek

RADAR CHECK: A band of showers and strong thunderstorms is moving across northwest Alabama at mid-afternoon, producing gusty winds, heavy rain and frequent lightning. So far they have been under severe limits, but the Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms for most of Alabama through tonight.

REST OF THE WEEK: Unsettled weather continues Wednesday and Thursday; the sky will be occasionally cloudy with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. A few strong storms are likely and highs will be in the low to mid 80s. Showers on Friday should become more scattered with a high in the mid to upper 80s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We are forecasting pretty routine summer weather Saturday and Sunday, partly sunny days with random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms, generally between 1 and 9 p.m. Highs will be in the 85- to 90-degree range both days.

NEXT WEEK: For now we are not expecting many changes. Standard summer weather continues with highs mostly in the mid to upper 80s and the daily risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.

HELLO DOLLY: We have a very short-lived tropical storm in the Atlantic, well east of the U.S coast. Dolly is packing sustained winds of 45 mph and will become post-tropical Wednesday. It’s no threat to land. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

AFRICAN DUST: The Saharan Air Layer continues to move through the Caribbean, and the dry, dusty air should reach the southern U.S. by Thursday or Friday. This is not unusual and helps to mitigate tropical storm formation. It also brings potential for vivid sunrise and sunset scenes due to the scattering of sunlight. There can be some reduction in air quality, but it won’t affect most people.

ON THIS DATE IN 1944: The deadliest and strongest tornado in the state of West Virginia occurred. The Shinnston Tornado that ravaged a path of destruction from Shinnston to Cheat Mountain, then on to Maryland and ending in Pennsylvania in the Allegheny Mountains, is the only twister to produce F4 damage in West Virginia. This tornado killed 103 people.

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