James Spann: Alabama showers, storms will be fewer on Friday

RADAR CHECK: In the moist air across Alabama we have a number of showers and thunderstorms again today. They are moving eastward and are most numerous over the northern, eastern and southern counties of the state at mid-afternoon. Some of the storms over south Alabama could produce small hail and strong winds; the Storm Prediction Center has defined a marginal risk (level 1 out o 5) for this part of the state through the evening.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: The upper trough that has been over the region all week will lift out tonight, and the air should be a little more stable Friday through Sunday. This means showers and storms will be fewer and more scattered. For each day we expect a partly sunny sky with random, scattered showers and thunderstorms generally between 1 and 9 p.m. Odds of any one spot getting wet each day will be around 40%, and highs will be in the mid to upper 80s.

NEXT WEEK: We aren’t expecting much change. Look for fairly routine late June weather with the risk of pop-up, splash-and-dash showers and storms during the afternoons and evenings. Days will be partly sunny, with highs between 86 and 90 most days.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

AFRICAN DUST: The Saharan Air Layer (SAL) has moved up into the Gulf Coast region today and will cover more of Alabama Friday and over the weekend. The sky is hazy today in places like New Orleans, Biloxi and Gulf Shores thanks to the dust, which is mostly several thousand feet off the ground.

This is dry, dusty air that originated over the African continent a couple of weeks ago. There will be some reduction in air quality, but it won’t bother most people. The dust will scatter sunlight, bringing potential for vivid sunrises and sunsets. This happens just about every summer. The size of this SAL is larger than usual, however.

ON THIS DATE IN 1967: Three F3 tornadoes crossed the Netherlands. The first touched down at 4:17 p.m. in Oostmalle. This storm destroyed the church and the center of the village. More than half of the 900 homes in the community were damaged, with 135 completely gone. The second tornado touched down near Ulicoten and tracked northward through woodlands. This storm killed two people at a camping site near Chaam, Netherlands. The third tornado destroyed 50 houses in Tricht, killing five and injuring 32 others.

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