James Spann: Storms later today for Alabama, but fewer in number

James Spann forecasts typical summer weather for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

TYPICAL JULY WEATHER: Overall atmospheric moisture levels have decreased a tad across Alabama today, so when scattered showers and storms begin to form this afternoon they should be fewer in number. Heavier thunderstorms are expected to be over the far southwest part of the state, where the Storm Prediction Center maintains a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms for this afternoon and early tonight.

Otherwise, today will be partly sunny, hot and humid, with highs between 88 and 91 degrees for most communities.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND: The main westerly winds aloft (the jet stream) will remain far to the north, and fairly typical July weather will continue across Alabama Friday through Sunday — partly sunny, hot, muggy days with random, scattered showers and storms possible. Most of the thunderstorms (but not necessarily all) will come from about 1 until 9 p.m., and odds of any one spot getting wet each day will be in the 30% to 40% range. Afternoon highs will be pretty close to 90 degrees, right at seasonal averages.

NEXT WEEK: Hot, humid summer weather will persist with the daily round of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. There is no way of knowing in advance exactly when and where the storms will form; highs will be around 90.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains quiet this morning and tropical storm formation is not expected through the weekend.

DID YOU KNOW? There is no such thing as “heat lightning.” All of the lightning you see on warm summer evenings is produced by the same process, a thunderstorm. They can be very tall this time of the year, and too far away to hear the thunder.

ON THIS DATE IN 2001: In Michigan, frost and freezing temperatures were observed in some locations, with Grant dropping to 29 degrees. Muskegon reported its coldest July temperature on record with 39 degrees. Other daily record lows included Lansing, 38; Flint, 40; Youngstown, Ohio, 40, and Grand Rapids, 43 degrees.

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