James Spann: Warm weekdays, stormy weekend ahead for Alabama

RADAR CHECK: As expected, showers and storms are very isolated across Alabama this afternoon; much of the state is dry. Most of the showers are over the Tennessee Valley of far North Alabama and northward into Tennessee.

The sky is partly sunny, and temperatures are in the low to mid 80s in most places.

TOMORROW/THURSDAY: While a few isolated showers are possible tomorrow afternoon, the chance of any one spot seeing rain is very small. Generally speaking, these two days will be warm and mostly dry, with afternoon temperatures rising into the mid 80s and a partly sunny sky.

FRIDAY: A surface front will sag southward into Alabama, meaning a trend toward increasing clouds and a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. The rain won’t be too widespread, but be aware of the potential for a passing shower Friday afternoon or Friday night. The high will be in the low 80s.

STORMY WEEKEND: A rather dynamic weather system will impact Alabama this weekend, bringing the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms. It is too early to be really specific about the timing and the magnitude of the threat.

While a shower is certainly possible Friday morning, it looks like the main window for strong storms will come Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, possibly into the very early morning hours Sunday. The current window we have is from 3 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday. We should be able to narrow that down in coming days.

Stronger storms over the weekend will be capable of producing hail and strong straight-line winds; it remains to be seen whether there will be a significant tornado threat. Rain amounts should be close to 1 inch, and the high Saturday will be in the 77- to 80-degree range.

The rain ends Sunday morning; the day Sunday will be breezy and much cooler, with temperatures not getting out of the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Cool, dry weather is the story early in the week with morning lows in the 40s, but highs will be back in the 80s by the end of the week. The latest Global Forecast System run is now hinting much of the week will be dry.

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN! The Honda Indy Grand Prix will be April 21-23 at the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park. Make plans for the event that has been voted “Best Annual Event” & “Best Sporting Event” in Birmingham. Kids 15 & younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult, and three-day general admission tickets are $69. Single-day tickets are $15. Pack a picnic cooler and bring the family out for a weekend full of activities and racing. Get tickets and more information here. For now it looks like the best chance of heavier rain and storms will come from about 3 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday. Get the detailed race forecast here.

ALABAMA A DAY: The annual spring game kicks off at 2 Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. We will need to mention a chance of showers and storms, especially during the second half of the game. The temperature will be in the upper 70s at kickoff. I will be doing “Drive Home Weather” on the big screens with former Tide star Andre Smith (now with the Cincinnati Bengals). Come see us in the fan zone from 11 a.m. until noon.

Click here to see the Beach Forecast Center page.

STORM SPOTTER TRAINING IN JASPER THURSDAY: The last spotter training event of the year will be held in Jasper Thursday; we will be at the Jasper Civic Center, and the session begins at 6:30. It is free, and there is no need to register. Just come with a curious mind.

WEATHER BRAINS: You can listen to our weekly 90-minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including meteorologists at ABC 33/40.

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For more weather news and information, visit AlabamaWX.

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