James Spann: Active storms over south Alabama this afternoon

RADAR CHECK: We have fairly widespread rain and thunderstorms over the southern half of Alabama this afternoon; some spots have received heavy amounts of rain. Where rain is falling, temperatures are in the 70s. However, for north and central Alabama, showers are very hard to find, with temperatures mostly in the low to mid 90s.

The Storm Prediction Center has introduced a level 1 marginal risk of severe storms for the remainder of today for parts of southern Alabama. The risk covers locations south of a line from Livingston (Sumter County) to White Hall (Lowndes County) to Louisville (Barbour County).

REST OF THE WEEK AND THE WEEKEND: We will roll with a summer persistence forecast as an upper ridge will hold across the region. We’ll have partly sunny, hot, humid days with a few isolated showers or thunderstorms possible during the afternoon and evening hours, generally between 1 and 9 p.m. Odds of any one spot getting wet each day will run in the 20% category, and highs will hold mostly in the mid 90s. Good ol’ July weather in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Don’t look for much change, although the morning run of the American global model hints that showers and storms could be more numerous by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week as a weakness in the ridge develops over the region. Otherwise partly sunny, hot days will continue with highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s.

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

RAIN UPDATE: These are rain totals for the year so far, with the departure from average:

  • Birmingham — 52.32 inches (21.76 inches above average)
  • Muscle Shoals — 51.82 inches (21.44 above average)
  • Tuscaloosa — 48.14 inches (17.87 above average)
  • Huntsville — 46.86 inches (16.23 above average)
  • Anniston — 45.61 inches (16.5 above average)
  • Montgomery — 40.47 inches (10.46 above average)
  • Mobile — 35.6 inches (0.62 below average)

ON THIS DATE IN 1936: It was 118 degrees in Missouri, 114 in Iowa and Oklahoma, 113 in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and South Dakota, and 111 in Arkansas, Minnesota, Kentucky and Nebraska. Alabama was relatively “cool” with a maximum of 100 degrees reported. Thirty states were over 100 degrees. Heat like that is incomprehensible to modern Americans; there was no way for most to cool off in those days. The death toll was in the thousands.

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