James Spann: Alabama’s September more like August

HOT SEPTEMBER WEATHER: Temperatures are generally in the 90- to 94-degree range across Alabama this afternoon, well above the average high of 85 for Sept. 18. The sky is mostly sunny, and again today you can pretty much count the number of showers on one hand. The tiny, isolated showers will end once the sun goes down.

Don’t look for much change in the weather tomorrow and Thursday — hot and mostly dry, with afternoon showers remaining few and far between. Highs will be in the low 90s in most places.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Moisture levels will rise, and we will mention scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms on these three days. Otherwise, expect partly sunny days, fair nights and highs between 87 and 90. The odds of any one community seeing an afternoon thunderstorm each day will be around 30 percent.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: For the high school games Friday night, there will be some risk of a brief shower or storm during the first half; otherwise, it will be fair with temperatures falling through the 80s.

Saturday, Alabama hosts Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny, and a brief shower or storm is possible during the game. Temperatures will hover in the 87- to 90-degree range.

Auburn hosts Arkansas Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (6:30 p.m. kickoff). There will be a small risk of a shower during the first half; otherwise, it will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from near 86 at kickoff into the low 80s by the final whistle.

UAB has a bye week.

NEXT WEEK: We don’t expect much change Monday though Wednesday; partly sunny days are likely, with scattered showers and storms possible during the afternoon and evening hours. But an upper trough is expected to sweep into the eastern third of the nation by the end of the week. This will finally give us a better chance of rain, and noticeably cooler air in seven to 10 days.

TROPICS: All is quiet across the Atlantic basin now, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the rest of the week.

ON THIS DATE IN 2003: Hurricane Isabel slammed into the North Carolina coast with winds of 105 mph, causing nearly 40 deaths and inflicting property damage estimated at $4 billion. In North Carolina, the storm surge from Isabel washed out a portion of Hatteras Island to form what was unofficially known as Isabel Inlet. Damage was greatest along the Outer Banks, where thousands of homes were damaged or even destroyed. The worst of the effects of Isabel occurred in Virginia, especially in the Hampton Roads area and along the shores of rivers as far west and north as Richmond and Baltimore. Virginia reported the most deaths and damage from the hurricane.

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