James Spann: Dry weekend ahead for Alabama

SEVERE CLEAR: There’s nothing but sunshine across Alabama this afternoon with a very dry air mass in place; temperatures are generally between 79 and 84 degrees. The average high for Birmingham on Sept. 10 is 87. Tonight will be clear and cool; temperatures drop into the 55- to 64-degree range early Saturday.

Over the weekend, look for sunny, warm days and fair, pleasant nights. Highs will be between 87 and 90 degrees; the low early Sunday will be in the 60s.

NEXT WEEK: Monday will be another dry day with a high in the upper 80s; then moisture levels gradually rise through midweek, and we will bring back the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Tuesday through Friday. For now it doesn’t look like the showers will be especially widespread.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: Expect perfect weather for the high school games across the state tonight; the sky will be clear with temperatures falling from the mid 70s at kickoff into the upper 60s by the final whistle.

Saturday, Auburn hosts Alabama State at Jordan-Hare Stadium (11 a.m. kickoff). Look for a sunny sky during the game with temperatures rising from near 84 degrees at kickoff to around 87 by the fourth quarter. Alabama will host Mercer at Bryant-Denny Stadium (3 p.m. kickoff). The sky will be sunny with temperatures falling from 88 degrees at kickoff to near 80 degrees by the end of the game.

UAB is on the road, taking on the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens (2:30 p.m. CT kickoff). The sky will be sunny with a temperature of about 85 degrees at kickoff, falling to near 80 by the final whistle. Jacksonville State is also on the road Saturday, taking on Florida State in Tallahassee (7 p.m. CT kickoff). A passing shower or storm is possible during the first half; otherwise the sky will be mostly fair with temperatures hovering between 78 and 82 degrees during the game.

TROPICS: Larry is still a hurricane with winds of 80 mph; it will scoot by the coast of Newfoundland tonight, then become post-tropical over the North Atlantic Saturday.The northern part of a tropical wave is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the western Caribbean Sea and portions of Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula. This system is forecast to move into the Bay of Campeche and merge with a pre-existing surface trough by Sunday. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive to support gradual development thereafter, and a tropical depression is likely to form Sunday or Monday before the system moves onshore along the western Gulf of Mexico coast. Regardless of development, this disturbance is expected to produce heavy rains across portions of Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula through Saturday. Heavy rains are likely to reach portions of the western Gulf Coast late this weekend and early next week, including the Texas coastal plain and parts of Louisiana. The deeper moisture from this feature, for now, looks like it will remain west of Alabama next week.

Out in the far eastern Atlantic, a strong tropical wave along the west coast of Africa is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. This wave will move off the coast by this evening, and gradual development is expected thereafter. A tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week as the system moves west-northwestward over the far eastern Atlantic near the Cabo Verde Islands.

Sept. 10 is the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

ON THIS DATE IN 1960: The center of Hurricane Donna passed over the middle of the Florida Keys between 2 and 3 a.m. Donna was a Category 5 hurricane over the Atlantic and a Category 4 at landfall. This storm caused the deaths of more than 100 people in Puerto Rico and 50 in the United States.

ON THIS DATE IN 2017: Hurricane Irma crossed the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm.

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