James Spann: ‘Cold’ front pushes through Alabama Tuesday

CHANGES AHEAD: Generally dry weather is the story for Alabama this afternoon, with temperatures mostly in the 86- to 90-degree range. But to the north we are seeing numerous showers and thunderstorms over Tennessee in association with a surface front dropping southward into the Deep South. Those showers and storms will move into north Alabama in coming hours and will continue to move southward tonight.

The Storm Prediction Center has defined a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) of severe storms for areas near the Tennessee border and a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) down to Sulligent, Cullman and Fort Payne. Some of the heavier storms tonight could produce strong, gusty straight-line winds.

We will maintain the chance of showers Tuesday morning, but by afternoon most of the storms will shift down into the southern half of the state as dry air pushes into north Alabama. The high Tuesday will be in the low to mid 80s, almost 10 degrees below average for late July in Alabama.

BREATH OF FRESH AIR: Wednesday and Thursday will be very pleasant for midsummer — sunny days, lower humidity, no afternoon storms and cooler nights. Highs will be in the mid to upper 80s, lows well down in the 60s. Some of the cooler spots will likely visit the upper 50s both mornings.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We all know that dry air won’t last long around here in summer. Moisture levels rise Friday, and showers are possible over the southern two-thirds of the state with a high in the upper 80s. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, look for humid conditions with a mix of sun and clouds, and the chance of random, scattered showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs over the weekend will be in the 87- to 90-degree range.

NEXT WEEK: For now it looks like fairly routine summer weather through the week. That means partly sunny days with scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be mostly in the low 90s.

NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS: Tropical depression three has formed in the area of the Bahamas. It is expected to remain a tropical depression as it stays just off the southeast U.S. coast and is expected to dissipate within 48 hours. It’s no threat to the Gulf of Mexico.

ON THIS DATE IN 1993: The levee holding back the flooding Mississippi River at Kaskaskia, Illinois, ruptures, forcing the town’s people to flee on barges. The incident at Kaskaskia was the most dramatic event of the flood. At 9:48 a.m. the levee broke, leaving the people of Kaskaskia with no escape route other than two Army Corp of Engineers barges. By 2 p.m. the entire town was underwater.

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