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James Spann

James Spann

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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Scattered Strong Storms Again This Afternoon

| 6:27 am June 17, 2016

JUNE FRONT APPROACHING: Hot, humid weather continues across the great state of Alabama today, and again we will deal with scattered strong storms this afternoon in scattered spots with a surface front approaching from the north. SPC has a “marginal risk” of severe storms defined for most of the state…

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Main window for stronger storms will come from 2 until 7 p.m… and like yesterday, storms will be capable of producing strong winds and some small hail. Temperatures reach the low to mid 90s by mid-afternoon.

THE WEEKEND: Drier air enters the state tomorrow; best chance of showers will shift down into South Alabama; the northern counties of the state should be dry with a high in the upper 80s. Sunday looks very nice, with ample sunshine, lower humidity, and a high between 86 and 89 degrees. Cooler spots could easily reach the 50s early Sunday morning.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks generally dry Monday and Tuesday with afternoon highs around 90… scattered showers and storms returns Wednesday through Friday, but nothing too widespread. Low 90s are likely on those three days; the most intense heat in the nation will remain well to the west of Alabama. see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: The guys at the National Hurricane Center are watching a weak low pressure area that could drift into the Bay of Campeche early next week, but development doesn’t look especially likely. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine today from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach with scattered storms; over the weekend we expect increasing amounts of sunshine and fewer showers. Most of next week should feature routine summer weather with a good deal of sunshine each day with widely scattered storms. Highs in the upper 80s along the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Drier Air Arrives Over The Weekend

| 3:10 pm June 16, 2016

RADAR CHECK: As expected, showers and storms are less numerous across the northern half of Alabama today…

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And, also as expected, heat levels are up with most places reporting low 90s at mid-afternoon. Dew points are well up in the 70s, making for a very streamy, uncomfortable afternoon. We will maintain the risk of widely scattered storms through about 10:00 tonight.

TOMORROW: Not much change. Hot, humid weather continues with a mix of sun and clouds and the risk of widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms. A surface front will approach, and SPC has much of the state in a “marginal risk” of severe storms tomorrow…

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Stronger storms tomorrow afternoon will be capable of producing a wet microburst, but many places won’t see any rain at all due to the scattered nature of the convection. The high will be in the mid 90s for most communities.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Heat and humidity levels come down with dry, continental air entering the state from the north. We expect mostly sunny days and fair pleasant nights with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Cooler pockets have a good chance of reaching the 50s early Sunday morning.

NEXT WEEK: The weather stays dry Monday and Tuesday with a slow warming trend, then we will mention the risk of scattered showers and storms Wednesday through Friday. Highs will be generally in the 89-92 degree range through the week… see the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Lower pressure over Central America is moving northwest, and could emerge into the far Southwest Gulf of Mexico in a few days, but elsewhere tropical storm development is not expected across the Atlantic basin through early next week.

AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine tomorrow from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Then, for the weekend, expect increasing amounts of sun with fewer showers as dry air works into the region from the north. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce a “Thursday night special” tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it live here.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Storms More Widely Scattered Today/Tomorrow

| 6:07 am June 16, 2016

RADAR CHECK: It is a rather quiet morning across Alabama after the big MCS (mesoscale convective system) that rolled southward through the state last night. We see just a few isolated showers over Blount and Marshall counties as I write this around 6:00 a.m.

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Today will be hotter; most communities will reach the mid 90s this afternoon with a partly sunny sky. The air becomes unstable this afternoon, and where storms form they could pack a punch with potential for wet microbursts (localized areas of damaging straight line winds) and huge amounts of lightning. But, the storms will be very widely scattered, and many places won’t see rain today. SPC has all of Alabama in a “marginal risk” for severe storms this afternoon.

TOMORROW: A surface boundary will push into the state during the afternoon, and with temperatures up in the mid 90s, the air will be unstable and once again we will have the risk of scattered, strong thunderstorms. It won’t rain everywhere, but where storms develop they could become strong to severe, with potential for wet microbursts. SPC has the standard “slight risk” of severe weather up for parts of Central and South Alabama, with a “marginal risk” for the rest of the state tomorrow.

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THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: A nice surge of dry air moves in here tomorrow night, setting up a great weekend with sunny days, clear cooler nights, and lower humidity. Showers will be confined to far South Alabama; highs will be in the 80s with lows in the 60s. Cooler spots will visit the 50s early Sunday morning. Enjoy those lower dewpoints.

NEXT WEEK: The weather continues to look dry Monday and Tuesday with a slow warming trend, then we will bring back the risk of scattered storms Wednesday through Friday with highs generally in the low 90s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: Just a slight risk of some slow development over the far Southwest Gulf of Mexico over the next five days, otherwise the Atlantic basin remains very quiet.

AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine today and tomorrow along the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach with scattered thunderstorms. Then, for the weekend, expect increasing amounts of sunshine and fewer showers as dry air drops southward. Highs will be in the upper 80s along the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce next week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT (I am on vacation next week)… you can watch it live here.

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Strong Storms Possible Over North Alabama Tonight

| 3:17 pm June 15, 2016

AT MID-AFTERNOON: It is fairly quiet across the great state of Alabama after a big batch of morning rain and storms that moved through western and central counties. Tuscaloosa measured 1.32″, and radar suggested some places near the Tuscaloosa/Greene county line could have received over three inches of rain.

Due to the lingering clouds, temperatures are only around 80 degrees across the central counties of Alabama.

TO THE NORTH: A disturbance is triggering strong to severe storms over northern Tennessee, and those storms will enter North Alabama this evening. SPC now has the northwest corner of the state in the standard “slight risk” of severe weather tonight, with a “marginal risk” down to Birmingham and I-20.

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The main threat with the storms early tonight over North Alabama will come from strong, perhaps damaging straight line winds. The storms will weaken as they move south of U.S. 278 and into more stable air over Central Alabama.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: The heat returns; mid 90s are likely both days with a partly sunny sky. Showers and storms will be fewer in number, but where they form, they could pack a punch with potential for a wet microburst or two since the air will be very unstable during the afternoon hours.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Dry air rolls into the state, setting up some great weekend weather. Expect sunny days, clear cooler nights, and lower humidity Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Cooler spots could easily reach the 50s early Sunday morning.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks generally dry Monday and Tuesday with a slow warming trend; we will be back in the low 90s by Tuesday afternoon. A few scattered showers and storms return Wednesday through Friday, but it doesn’t look like anything widespread, and highs will be in the low to mid 90s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: NHC continues to monitor low pressure near the Yucatan Peninsula; some slow development is possible around the Bay of Campeche this weekend, but global models really don’t show much. The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine tomorrow and Friday from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores with a few scattered thunderstorms. Then, for the weekend, mostly sunny weather is likely Saturday and Sunday with only isolated showers or storms. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Some Sun, Scattered Storms

| 6:11 am June 15, 2016

RADAR CHECK: Rain and storms are increasing over the western half of Alabama early this morning…

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The rain is moving southeast, and some places have received over one inch.

A moist, unstable airmass lingers over Alabama, and we will expect scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms again today. Like recent days, we can’t promise rain for everyone, but a number of communities will see a decent downpour or two. The sun breaks out at times, and the high today will be in the 87-90 degree range.

TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Heat levels creep up, with potential for mid to upper 90s both days. This heat will make the air very unstable, and while showers and storms will be fewer in number, the thunderstorms that do form during the peak of the daytime heating process will pack a punch, with potential for wet microbursts and tremendous amounts of lightning. SPC has parts of the state under a “marginal risk” of severe storms both tomorrow and Friday.

THE WEEKEND: A pleasant change with dry air moving into the state. We expect sunny days, fair cooler nights, and lower humidity Saturday and Sunday. Highs in the mid to upper 80s, lows in the 60s. Cooler pockets could easily reach the 50s early Sunday morning. No afternoon showers or storms thanks to the dry air.

NEXT WEEK: The chance of showers will remain very low Monday and Tuesday, but a few scattered storms are possible over the latter half of the week as moisture levels rise. Highs will be close to 90 early in the week, with low to mid 90s by Thursday and Friday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected over the next 48 hours. The guys at NHC are watching lower pressure around the Yucatan peninsula; they suggest a low risk of some type of development around the Bay of Campeche in their Day 5 outlook, but global models aren’t bullish on anything exciting happening there.

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AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine through Friday on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores, with the daily risk of scattered thunderstorms. The weekend should feature a good supply of sunshine both days with only isolated showers. Highs in the upper 80s on the coast, with 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Scattered Showers/Storms Remain Possible

| 3:36 pm June 14, 2016

RADAR PEEK: Most of the showers and storms this afternoon are across the western third of the state…

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Showers are moving east/northeast, and we will maintain the chance of showers through tonight thanks to a weak upper trough nearing Alabama from the west. We note the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport has measured 1.02″ of rain over the past 24 hours. Some have received more, some less.

Not much change tomorrow; some sun at times, and again we will forecast scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. Best chance of rain will come during the afternoon and evening hours, but like today, we can’t rule out morning showers. The high tomorrow will be in the 89-92 degree range.

THURSDAY: Heat levels rise, and showers and storms become less numerous. A good chance we soar into the upper 90s Thursday afternoon, making it potentially the hottest day so far this year. That will make the air very unstable, and where storms do form they could pack a punch, with potential for wet microbursts and gobs of lightning.

SPC has much of the state in a “marginal risk” of severe storms Thursday afternoon…

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Then, on Friday, widely scattered showers and storms remain possible as a surface front approaches. The high Friday afternoon should be in the low to mid 90s.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We are forecasting a refreshing airmass change as dry air slips into the state. Sunny days, clear cooler nights, and low humidity is the story Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s; cooler spots could visit the 50s early Sunday morning. About as nice as it gets in summer in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: Expect rising heat and humidity levels as an upper ridge noses into the state from the west… and we will bring back the chance of scattered showers and storms beginning Wednesday. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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

AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine each day through Friday from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach with the daily risk of scattered showers and storms. The weekend will feature a sunny sky Saturday and Sunday with only a slight risk of shower. Highs will be in the upper 80s along the immediate coast, with 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Some Early Morning Thunder

| 6:15 am June 14, 2016

RADAR CHECK: We have some big, loud early morning storms around the Birmingham metro early this morning producing heavy rain and lots of lightning…

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An upper trough, and the associated cold air aloft, will bring scattered to numerous showers and storms to Alabama through tomorrow. We still can’t promise rain for everyone, but many communities will see a heavy downpour or two along the way. And, it won’t be as hot today because of the clouds and showers… many places will stay below 90 degrees this afternoon. Low 90s are likely tomorrow afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds along with the scattered thunderstorms.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: We note SPC has a “marginal risk” of severe weather defined for much of Alabama Thursday…

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Showers and storms should actually be less numerous on Thursday, but we project a high in the mid to upper 90s, and this will heat make the air very unstable. Storms that form Thursday afternoon will have potential for wet microbursts. And, of course, all summer storms pack gobs of lightning. Remember, if you hear thunder, you are close enough to be hit by lightning. That is the time to get inside.

Friday will be another hot, humid day with the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. And, again on Friday storms could pack a punch with a surface front approaching. Temperatures will rise well into the 90s again Friday afternoon.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We have a pleasant airmass change coming; drier, continental air will enter the state, setting up a very nice weekend. Look for sunny days, fair cooler nights, and lower humidity Saturday and Sunday. Highs will be in the 80s both days, and some of the normally cooler spots could reach the 50s early Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Heat and humidity levels will rise as the upper ridge builds again. Highs mostly in the 90s, and beginning Wednesday we will bring back the risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: All is quiet and tropical storm formation is not expected this week across the Atlantic basin.

AT THE BEACH: About 5 to 7 hours of sunshine along the coast from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach through Friday with the daily risk of scattered showers and thunderstorms. The weekend will feature sunny weather Saturday and Sunday with only a slight risk of shower. Highs will be in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. Scroll down for the show notes on the new episode we recorded last night.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

Scattered Showers/Storms Through Mid-Week

| 3:34 pm June 13, 2016

RADAR CHECK: As expected, we have the classic case of scattered, random showers and thunderstorms across Alabama this afternoon with very little movement.

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Heavier storms are over far South Alabama, where NWS Mobile issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Escambia County at 3:12 p.m.

Showers and thunderstorms will settle down later tonight after the sun goes down. Away from the shower, temperatures are generally in the mid 90s this afternoon; Birmingham reached 96 degrees at 3:00… that is the hottest temperature recorded so far this year.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: We expect scattered to numerous showers and storms on both of these days thanks to a weak upper trough drifting in from the west. We all know with summer storms rain distribution is very uneven, and we sure can’t promise rain for everyone, but many communities should see a decent downpour or two. While the best chance of showers and thunderstorms will come during the afternoon and evening hours, we can’t rule out a late night or morning shower. Heat levels will come down a bit, with highs between 88 and 92 degrees for most places on these days.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: Showers and storms should become fewer in number thanks to warmer air aloft and a building ridge; the sky will be partly sunny both days with highs up in the 90s. Expect widely scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Still getting good signals from global models that a nice surge of drier air works into our state, meaning mostly sunny days, fair cooler nights, and lower humidity levels Saturday and Sunday. Highs will be in the 86-90 degree range, with lows well down in the 60s. Cooler spots have a good chance of visiting the 50s early Sunday morning. And, the dry air should mean no scattered showers or storms to deal with.

NEXT WEEK: Forecast confidence drops early in the week due to model inconsistency, but moisture levels will slowly rise, and at some point we will need to bring back the risk of scattered showers and storms, maybe even as early as Monday. And, heat levels rise as well with highs going back in the 90s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: All is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the week across the Atlantic basin.

AT THE BEACH: We project about 5 to 7 hours of sunshine each day this week from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach; scattered showers and storms remain possible on a daily basis. Highs will be mostly in the 80s, with low 90s possible inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it live here.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…

Hot, Humid, Afternoon Storms

| 6:29 am June 13, 2016

SUN, HEAT, STORMS: A pretty classic summer weather pattern will continue across Alabama thorough mid-week. A moist, unstable airmass is parked over the state with dew points around 70 degrees early this morning. Although there is nothing on radar early this morning, we will see developing showers and storms in scattered, random locations this afternoon as temperatures near 90 degrees. Chance of any one spot getting wet is about one in three, and some of the storms will be strong. In fact, SPC has a “marginal risk” of severe storms defined for parts of West and South Alabama this afternoon…

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For a reminder of how it works on summer days like this in Alabama, see this essay.

TOMORROW/WEDNESDAY: These two days should offer the highest coverage of scattered showers and storms thanks to a weak upper trough approaching Alabama from the west. Still, it won’t rain everywhere, but most communities stand a good chance of getting some rain at times. Best chance of showers and thunderstorms will come during the afternoon and evening hours, but we can’t rule out a late night or morning shower. The high both days should be in the 88-91 degree range with a mix of sun and clouds away from the storms.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: There should be a decrease in the number of showers on these two days as the upper ridge begins to rebuild, and heat levels will creep up. Expect highs in the 91-94 degree range with only widely scattered afternoon/evening showers and thunderstorms and a pretty decent amount of sun both days.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Global models show a drier, continental airmass dropping into the state this weekend, and this ideas suggests mostly sunny weather Saturday and Sunday with lower humidity, cooler nights, and no afternoon showers or storms. Highs should be somewhere between 85 and 90 degrees both days with ample sunshine. Cooler spots could reach the 50s early Sunday morning.

NEXT WEEK: Dry air stays in place Monday and Tuesday, followed by increasing heat and humidity levels later in the week with the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

TROPICS: All is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the week across the Atlantic basin.

AT THE BEACH: We project about 5 to 7 hours of sunshine each day this week from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach; scattered showers and storms remain possible on a daily basis. Highs will be mostly in the 80s, with low 90s possible inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 84 degrees. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40. We will produce this week’s show tonight at 8:30 CT… you can watch it live here.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon… enjoy the day!

A Few Scattered Storms By Sunday

| 3:08 pm June 10, 2016

HOT JUNE AFTERNOON: Temperatures are mostly in the low 90s across North/Central Alabama this afternoon with sunshine through high thin circus clouds. The cirrus clouds, which are ice crystals, are producing more great sky optics today… below is a circumhorizontal arc (photo from @objectivityrach)

ObjectivityRach_2016-Jun-10

The sky will stay mostly fair tonight.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change tomorrow; a decent amount of sunshine with a high in the low 90s. We will mention a few isolated afternoon showers in the forecast as moisture levels will rise, but most communities will stay dry. Then, on Sunday, scattered showers and storms should be more numerous by afternoon as the upper ridge weakens a bit and the air becomes more unstable. The chance of any one spot getting wet Sunday is about one in three, and the will be at or just over 90 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: A rather moist, unstable airmass will be in place all week. Each day will feature a mix of sun and clouds with scattered showers and thunderstorms; best chance of showers will come during the afternoon and evening hours. Another words, pretty typical mid-June weather. Daily highs will be in the 88-92 degree range.

No sign of any really excessive heat anytime soon (upper 90s or higher). See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine on the Gulf Coast through early next week, but there will be a risk of scattered showers and storms daily from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores. Highs in the upper 80s on the immediate coast, with low 90s inland. See a very detailed Gulf Coast forecast here.

TROPICS: The Atlantic basin is quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through early next week.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

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Look for my next Weather Xtreme video here Monday morning by 7:00… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!