James Spann: Alabama stays hot, dry through Friday; showers return over the weekend

James Spann forecasts highs in the 90s for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

JUST LIKE SUMMER: Alabama’s weather will stay hot and dry through Friday, with highs between 90 and 94 degrees, about 10 degrees above average for mid to late May. An upper ridge over the Gulf Coast will deflect the rain-producing systems north of the state through Friday night.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The ridge weakens and moisture levels will rise. Saturday will feature a mix of sun and clouds with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms by afternoon. The chance of any one spot getting wet is 35-45%, and the high will be in the mid 80s as heat levels begin to come down. On Sunday, expect occasional showers and thunderstorms with a mostly cloudy sky — not raining all day, but most places will get some rain at times with a high close to 80 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: A surface front will wash out just north of the state, leaving us in a moist, unstable air mass. This means some risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms daily through the week with highs in the 80s.GETTING DRY: Birmingham’s rain total for May is only 0.39 inch. We have measured only 0.05 inch since May 2, and the last time we saw more than an inch of rain was April 16, when we picked up 2.59 inches. We still have a surplus of 5.08 inches for the year, however.

HANGOUT MUSIC FESTIVAL: For those of you headed to Gulf Shores, here is the weather situation for the weekend:

  • Friday — A mix of sun and clouds; a few passing showers or storms are possible with a high between 85 and 88.
  • Saturday — Occasionally cloudy with scattered showers and storms. Not an all-day rain, but be ready for a passing shower or storm from time to time. The high will be in the mid 80s.
  • Sunday — Mostly cloudy with a few showers and storms likely. Still, not a washout. Expect a high between 80 and 85 degrees.

ON THIS DATE IN 1780: The infamous “dark day” in New England tradition. At noon, it was nearly as dark as night. Chickens went to roost and many people were fearful of divine wrath. The “dark day” was caused by forest fires west of New England.

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