James Spann: Alabama gets a break on heat, but still dry

James Spann has good news, bad news in the Alabama forecast from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

SOME HEAT RELIEF: Following a backdoor cold front last night, we project afternoon temperatures about 10 to 12 degrees lower than recent days; most communities will see a high in the mid to upper 80s with a partly sunny sky. The average high at Birmingham on Sept. 19 is 84. Tonight will be fair and very pleasant; lows will be well down in the 60s, and cooler spots will reach the upper 50s by daybreak on Friday.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Dry weather continues with sunny, warm days and fair, pleasant nights. Highs generally will be between 87 and 90, with lows in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: A surface front will drift down toward the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama and might bring a few isolated showers to the northern third of the state during the first half of the week, but the overall pattern continues to look dry with little chance of really meaningful rain through the week. And the pattern continues to favor above-average temperatures; there’s a decent chance we reach the low 90s on most afternoons.

FYI — we have seen 90-degree heat pretty late into October in Alabama. The latest 90-degree high was on Oct. 20, 2016, when the high was 90. On Oct. 17, 1897, the high was 91.

As you look at the chart below, add about five degrees to the forecast afternoon highs to account for the lack of soil moisture.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The weather will be clear for the high school games Friday night with temperatures falling from near 80 at kickoff into the low 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. Central 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 is moving away from Bermuda, toward the open North Atlantic. It becomes post-tropical this weekend. Tropical Storm Jerry is expected to become a hurricane later today; it will pass north of the Leeward Islands and turn north before reaching the Bahamas this weekend, with no threat to the U.S. The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring two tropical waves in the Atlantic; one in the Caribbean, and one between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa; for now, both have only a low chance of development.

Severe flooding is happening this morning around Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, from the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda.

ON THIS DATE IN 1947: A hurricane made landfall near the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana. Wind gusts of 112 mph and a central pressure of 967 mb were measured at Moisant International Airport. A storm surge of 9.8 feet reached Shell Beach, Lake Borgne. Moisant Airport field was flooded by two feet of water while Jefferson Parish was flooded to depths of 3.28 feet. New Orleans suffered $100 million in damages. Total loss of life was 51 people. As a result of this storm, hurricane protection levees were built along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain to protect Orleans and Jefferson Parishes from future storm surges.

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