James Spann: Another hot, mostly dry day for Alabama

James Spann has the Alabama forecast for the end of the work week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Alabama’s weather won’t change much today as a strong upper ridge holds across the region. Look for a good supply of sunshine, highs in the mid to upper 90s and only isolated showers during the heat of the day. The average high for Birmingham on Sept. 13 is 86.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The ridge weakens a bit Saturday, and we will mention scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly between noon and 10 p.m. The odds of any one spot getting wet are 30%. Otherwise, look for a mix of sun and clouds with a high between 88 and 91. Then, on Sunday, the weather now looks relatively dry as a northerly flow begins, with lots of sun, only a small risk of a shower and a high in the low 90s.

NEXT WEEK: We now have good clarity on the developing tropical system near the Bahamas and, unfortunately, with a big eastward shift in the track, Alabama will be on the dry side. We are now forecasting mostly sunny days, fair nights and highs in the upper 80s and low 90s. Showers will be very hard to find.

RAIN UPDATE: Birmingham’s rain total for the year is 36.72 inches; the deficiency is 1.92 inches. The new U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows a decent part of east Alabama in drought conditions; west Alabama is in much better shape.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The sky will be mostly fair tonight for the high school games across the state, with temperatures falling from the upper 80s at kickoff to near 80 by the final whistle.

Saturday afternoon Alabama will play South Carolina in Columbia (2:30 p.m. Central kickoff). The sky will be partly sunny with a kickoff temperature near 89 degrees, falling into the mid-80s by the fourth quarter. A brief shower or storm can’t be ruled out, but they should be widely spaced.

Auburn hosts Kent State Saturday evening at Jordan-Hare Stadium (kickoff at 6). There’s just an outside risk of a shower during the first half; otherwise, the weather will be mostly fair with temperatures falling from around 90 at kickoff to near 80 by the end of the game.

Jacksonville State will host Eastern Washington Saturday afternoon (kickoff at 3). A passing shower or storm is possible during the game; otherwise it will be partly sunny with temperatures falling from the upper 80s at kickoff into the mid-80s by the final whistle.

PTC NINE: A disturbance near the Bahamas is forecast to become Tropical Storm Humberto within the next 24 hours; we now have better data and good model consensus, and the National Hurricane Center forecasts the center to move toward the east coast of Florida and then back out into the Atlantic over the next three days. This will mainly be a rainmaker; the system is expected to remain below hurricane strength.

The NHC is monitoring two tropical waves in the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles; the one near 35W has potential to become a tropical storm in the next three to five days; it will be in the Caribbean early next week. It’s too early to know whether this will affect the Gulf of Mexico or the U.S.

ON THIS DATE IN 1988: Hurricane Gilbert smashed into the Cayman Islands, and as it headed for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico strengthened into a monster hurricane, packing winds of 175 mph. The barometric pressure at the center of Gilbert reached 26.13 inches of mercury, a record for any hurricane in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean. Gilbert covered much of the Gulf of Mexico, producing rain as far away as the Florida Keys.

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