James Spann: Alabama heat wave rolls along

ANOTHER HOT ONE: We are wrapping up September with highs mostly in the mid 90s again. For the month, temperatures have exceeded 90 degrees at Birmingham on all but two days and the average high for the month is 94.3 degrees. We have a field of fair weather cumulus clouds over the state, and there is nothing on radar. The rain total for September at Birmingham will wind up at 0.56 of an inch. We have had measurable rain on only two days this month.

REST OF THE WEEK: Expect no real change through Thursday; we’ll have mostly sunny, hot days with highs in the mid 90s and only isolated afternoon showers over the eastern half of the state. On Friday, the high slips slightly into the low 90s, but the weather stays mostly dry.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The upper ridge finally breaks down and heat levels begin to fall. Highs drop into the 85- to 90-degree range, and we will have a chance of showers both days. It won’t be a drought buster, but at least some places will get the dust settled as the long-awaited pattern change begins.

NEXT WEEK: Monday looks relatively wet as a cold front pushes into the state; the high will be in the low 80s. Then, for the rest of the week, we project highs in the 77- to 81-degree range, with lows between 57 and 61. It will finally feel like fall.

TROPICS: Lorenzo is a large hurricane in the Central Atlantic with sustained winds of 105 mph. It will pass by the Azores Tuesday night before becoming post-tropical in the North Atlantic later this week. The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet.

RAIN UPDATE: Here are rain totals for the year, followed by the departure from average:

  • Mobile — 46.43 inches (5.69 inches below average)
  • Huntsville — 43.4 inches (3.49 inches above average)
  • Tuscaloosa — 40.1 inches (0.84 of an inch above average)
  • Birmingham — 37.06 inches (3.79 inches below)
  • Anniston — 39.73 inches (1.98 inches above)
  • Shelby County Airport — 33.87 inches (7.92 inches below)
  • Montgomery — 33.81 inches (6.75 inches below)

ON THIS DATE IN 1992: The coldest September ever recorded in interior Alaska was wrapping up. Fairbanks averaged a frigid 31.7 degrees, which was 13.2 degrees below normal and the first below-freezing September ever. Beginning on Sept. 9 and on every day for the rest of the month, a new record low was set for either low minimums or low maximums, or both. On this date, the city plunged to 3 degrees to set a new all-time record low for September. Snowfall for the month totaled 24.4 inches, which was more than three times the previous record for September.

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