James Spann: Hot afternoons for Alabama; dry through the weekend

James Spann has the midweek forecast for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

HIGHS STAY IN THE 90s: A strong upper ridge across the Southeast will deflect rain-producing systems north of us through the holiday weekend. Strong sinking air associated with the ridge will generally prevent afternoon showers and storms from forming, although we could see a brief shower later today around Muscle Shoals in the northwest corner of the state.

We are forecasting mostly sunny, hot days and fair nights through the Memorial Day weekend. We will be in the low 90s today and Thursday, then mid 90s by Friday and over the weekend. Some places will reach the upper 90s, right at record levels for late May in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Hot, dry weather continues Tuesday and Wednesday, but the ridge breaks down later in the week, opening the door for showers Thursday and Friday. No severe storms are expected, and rain amounts probably won’t be too heavy.

YESTERDAY: Birmingham officially reached 90 degrees for the first time this year; the last time the high was at or over 90 was on Oct. 6. Tuscaloosa soared to 94, and tied the record high for May 21.

TROPICS: Andrea was a brief subtropical storm in the Atlantic west of Bermuda; it dissipated yesterday. The season officially begins June 1. The other names to be used this year are Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

ON THIS DATE IN 2011: One of the most devastating tornadoes in the nation’s history directly killed 158 people and injured more than 1,000 in Joplin, Missouri. It reached a maximum width of nearly 1 mile during its path through the southern part of the city. This tornado was unusual in that it intensified in strength and grew larger in size at a very fast rate. The tornado tracked eastward across the city, and then continued eastward across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County and Newton County. It was the third tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971. The Joplin EF-5 tornado was the first single tornado to result in more than 100 fatalities since the June 8, 1953, Flint, Michigan tornado.

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For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.

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