James Spann: Alabama heat levels drop Thursday

SEPTEMBER HEAT WAVE CONTINUES: Alabama’s weather won’t change much today and Wednesday. Temperatures will remain more than 10 degrees above average for most places, with highs between 96 and 99; a few spots could touch 100. The sky will remain mostly sunny, but at least humidity levels will remain fairly low during the heat of the day. We might see a few isolated showers over east Alabama late Wednesday ahead of a backdoor front that represents the leading edge of cooler air now over the Northeast, but most places will remain dry.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: You won’t need jackets or sweaters, but temperatures will drop about 10-12 degrees on these days. Look for sunny days, fair nights and highs in the mid to upper 80s. Early morning lows will be well down in the 60s, and cooler spots will reach the upper 50s Friday morning.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Dry weather continues. We’ll have sunny weather Saturday and Sunday with highs generally between 87 and 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: A weak front might bring a few isolated showers to north Alabama Monday, but the overall pattern continues to look dry with little hope of really meaningful rain through the week.

As you look at model output statistics graphics like the one below, you need to add about five degrees to the afternoon highs because of the lack of soil moisture.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The weather will be clear for the high school games Friday night with temperatures falling from the low 80s at kickoff into the 70s by the second half.

Saturday, Alabama will host Southern Mississippi at Bryant-Denny Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with temperatures rising from near 85 at kickoff to 90 by the final whistle.

Auburn is on the road, traveling to College Station to take on Texas A&M (2:30 p.m. kickoff). Scattered showers and storms are possible during the game with temperatures generally in the low 90s.

UAB hosts South Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham (2:30 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with temperatures in the upper 80s at kickoff, falling into the mid 80s by the end of the game.

TROPICS: Hurricane Humberto has sustained winds this morning of 90 mph; it is moving away from the U.S. and will pass just north of Bermuda Wednesday night before heading out to the North Atlantic. A disturbance over the northwest Gulf of Mexico has only a 30% chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm before moving into Texas, and Invest 97L in the Atlantic has a high chance of development but should recurve and not impact the U.S. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

ON THIS DATE IN 1989: Hurricane Hugo hit the Virgin Islands, producing wind gusts to 97 mph at Saint Croix. Hurricane Hugo passed directly over the island of Saint Croix, causing complete devastation and essentially cutting off the island from communications. A storm surge of 5 to 7 feet occurred at Saint Croix. The only rain gauge left operating, at Caneel Bay, indicated 9.4 inches in 24 hours. Hurricane Hugo claimed the lives of three people at Saint Croix and caused more than $500 million damage.

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