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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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Heat Levels Rising This Week

| 6:14 am July 18, 2016

HOT SUMMER DAYS: Based on climatology, the hottest part of the summer in Alabama runs from mid-July through mid-August, and right on time a building upper ridge will bring the hottest weather so far this season later this week.

Today will be another classic summer day; partly sunny, hot, humid with “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. No computer model, meteorologist, app, or TV station can tell you early this morning exactly when and where the airmass storms will pop up this afternoon; they will be completely random. Chance of any one spot getting wet today is about one in four, and the high will be in the low to mid 90s.

Pretty much the same story tomorrow; with afternoon temperatures up in the mid 90s.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: A 5970 meter 500 mb upper high will build over Alabama, and will push highs into the 97-100 degree range for most North/Central Alabama communities. And, the warm air aloft associated with the ridge will keep a lid on the atmosphere, with only isolated afternoon thunderstorms.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The ridge shifts a little to the west, heat levels drop slightly with highs in the mid 90s with a little better coverage of scattered showers and storms during the afternoon and evening hours. Partly sunny days, fair nights.

NEXT WEEK: Nothing to suggest anything but routine summer weather for the week; partly sunny, hot, humid days with afternoon showers and storms in scattered, random places. Highs generally in the low to mid 90s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: Dry air continues to cover much of the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.

AT THE BEACH: About 8 to 10 hours of sunshine daily on the Gulf Coast this week and over the coming weekend from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach… with an occasional, passing thunderstorm. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with mid 90s inland. The sea water temperature early this morning at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is 86 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.

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

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I will be speaking this morning to a group of kids at the Revival Center Church in Vincent… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Storms Slow To Develop

| 3:15 pm July 15, 2016

RADAR CHECK: Yesterday, it looked like today would offer a generous supply of showers and thunderstorms across Alabama, but so far the storms have generally been a no-show. Once again, the mystery of summer convection…

One reason is cooler temperatures (most places are holding in the 80s), limiting instability values. However, showers are forming as I write this over Northeast Alabama, and the door is still open for scattered storms in coming hours. In fact, SPC still has parts of North and West Alabama under a “marginal risk” for severe storms.

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THE WEEKEND: Pretty standard mid-summer weather continues. Partly sunny, hot, humid days with the risk of scattered showers and storms. Coverage should be a little higher tomorrow, but the overall pattern won’t change both days. Highs will be generally in the low 90s.

NEXT WEEK: A strong upper high (5970 meter at 500 mb) will develop west of Alabama across the southern Great Plains; thankfully the worst of the heat will stay to the west, but there is a decent chance we see upper 90s by the end of the week. There will be some risk of scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms each day, but they should thin out by Thursday and Friday thanks to the warmer air aloft. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: Not much change. Dry air covers much of the Atlantic basin and tropical storm formation is not expected anytime soon.

AT THE BEACH: Good summer weather continues from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through most of next week. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day with just the occasional passing thunderstorm. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the upper 80s.

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 a.m… Brian Peters will have the video updates tomorrow and Sunday. Enjoy the weekend!

Scattered Afternoon Thunderstorms

| 6:14 am July 15, 2016

MUGGY MORNING: Temperatures are close to 70 degrees across the great state of Alabama at sunrise, and the radar is quiet. We will rise to near 90 later today with a mix of sun and clouds, and humidity levels stay high with a blanket of moist air in place.

No doubt we will have a few showers and storms around today, but as I write here often, summer convection remains a great mystery. Forecasting placement, timing, and coverage is a huge challenge, and that remains the case today. High resolution models have backed off on the coverage of afternoon storms, suggesting they will be pretty scattered in nature. However, where they form, they will be strong, and SPC has a “marginal risk” of severe storms defined for about the northern half of the state this afternoon and tonight.

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Like recent days, the main threat will come from wet microbursts (small scale areas of strong straight line winds) and small hail. All summer storms pack tremendous amounts of lightning.

THE WEEKEND: Not much change tomorrow; the general weakness in the summer ridge persists, and we will have mixed sun and clouds with the risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. The high will be in the 89-92 degree range for most places. Then, on Sunday, storms should be fewer in number as the ridge begins to grow stronger, and temperatures rise into the mid 90s.]

NEXT WEEK: A strong upper high begins to form northwest of Alabama; we will be on the periphery of the heat wave, but still close enough for rising heat levels here. Temperatures toward the end of the week will rise into the upper 90s, and some spots could very well reach 100. As is usually the case in summer, we will have the risk of scattered storms each afternoon, but they will be pretty widely spaced thanks to warmer air aloft. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: A large amount of dry air covers the tropical Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected anytime soon.

AT THE BEACH: Not much change; pretty standard weather for the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores through next week. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily, with a passing storm from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast 87-90, with low to mid 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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I will be doing a summer program this morning at Fultondale Elementary… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Showers/Storms Increasing

| 3:03 pm July 14, 2016

RADAR CHECK: We have an organized band of showers and storms moving across the northern third of the state this afternoon, with thunderstorms more scattered in nature to the south…

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Heavier storms are producing torrential rain, gusty winds, and some small hail. They will diminish tonight, but lingering showers are possible in spots through the night.

TOMORROW: This should be the day with the highest coverage of showers and thunderstorms. Of course, this is summer, so it won’t rain everywhere, but any one spot stands a 50/50 chance of getting wet a time or two. And, because of the clouds and showers, many places won’t make it out of the 80s.

Some of the storms could be strong over North Alabama, and SPC has a “marginal risk” of severe storms defined tomorrow…

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THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: Scattered showers and storms remain possible Saturday and Sunday, but they will become fewer in number. Expect a mix of sun and clouds Saturday with a high near 90, and a good supply of sunshine Sunday with mid 90s by afternoon. No way of knowing exactly when and where the storms will pop up over the weekend; like all summer storms they will be very random and scattered.

NEXT WEEK: A 5970 meter 500 mb heat ridge will build over the nation’s heartland, and although we are on the periphery of that, heat levels will rise next week, and showers and storms will become pretty isolated. Highs will be well up in the 90s, and a few spots over Northwest Alabama could touch 100 later in the week. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: Same story, dry air covers the tropical Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected for the next five days.

AT THE BEACH: Very routine summer weather continues on the Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores through early next week. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily with a passing storm from time to time. Highs on the immediate coast 87-90, with low to mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the upper 80s. 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…

Showers And Storms Increase Tomorrow/Saturday

| 6:13 am July 14, 2016

MUGGY SUMMER MORNING: Temperatures are in the 70s across most of Alabama this morning, nothing showing up on radar at daybreak. Today will be very similar to yesterday; hot, humid, partly sunny, and a few scattered storms around this afternoon and early tonight. The high today will be in the low 90s, and the chance of any one spot getting wet is about one in four.

To the north, a surface front will be getting closer, and a few storms over far North Alabama could pack a punch. SPC has the Tennessee Valley in a “marginal risk” for severe storms…

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TOMORROW/SATURDAY: With the surface front just north of here providing low level convergence, we expect scattered to numerous showers and storms. The chance of any one spot getting wet is 50/50 both days, and while most of the showers will come during the afternoon and evening hours, we can’t rule out some rain during the late night and morning hours. Also, a few strong storms are possible; SPC has about the northern third of the state in a “marginal risk” tomorrow.

Highs will be close to 90; some spots won’t get out of the 80s because of clouds and showers.

SUNDAY: Showers and storms thin out; expect a good supply of sunshine with a high up in the mid 90s as heat levels begin to rise.

NEXT WEEK: An intense upper high will form over the southern plains, and while Alabama will be on the periphery of that heat bubble, no doubt our afternoons will be pretty hot. Some places, especially over Northwest Alabama, could see 100 degree heat toward the end of next week. Thunderstorms will be possible next week, but they should be pretty widely scattered. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected through the next five days.

AT THE BEACH: Very routine summer weather continues on the coast from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach through next week. About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily, and yes, you will deal with a passing storm from time to time. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the upper 80s. 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 Storms Forming

| 3:28 pm July 13, 2016

RADAR CHECK: As expected, storms are more widely scattered across Alabama this afternoon… but some are strong, producing heavy rain and lots of lightning as they drift eastward…

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Showers and storms will dissipate later this evening after the sun sets.

The weather won’t change much tomorrow; hot and humid, partly sunny, a few scattered afternoon thunderstorms. The high will be in the low 90s in most places.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: We should see an increase in the coverage of scattered showers and storms Friday and Saturday thanks to a weak surface boundary stalling out just north of the state. Any one spot stands about a 50/50 chance of getting wet both days, with the best chance of showers and storms during the afternoon and evening hours. Storms will be a little more widely spaced Sunday. Highs will be close to 90 Friday and Saturday, and up in the low to mid 90s Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: A strong upper high is forecast to develop northwest of Alabama (6000 meter heights at 500 mb), setting up a pretty nasty heat wave there. Alabama will be on the periphery of the heat bubble, but still we could see afternoon temperatures approaching 100 degrees toward the end of the week with showers and storms becoming rather isolated due to the warm air aloft. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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

AT THE BEACH: A thunderstorm produced multiple waterspouts at Navarre Beach this afternoon…

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But, the sky is mostly sunny in most other coastal communities. Not much change through the weekend from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores… 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily with a passing storm from time to time. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the upper 80s. 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…

Hot, Humid, A Few Afternoon Storms

| 6:24 am July 13, 2016

TYPICAL MID-SUMMER WEATHER CONTINUES: Hot, humid summer weather continues across the great state of Alabama today. Lots of sun this morning, scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. I do think the storms will be fewer in number today as the upper low/trough that has been around the region has pretty much dissipated. Chance of any one spot getting wet will be about one in four, and the high will be in the low 90s.

Not much change tomorrow; a few scattered afternoon and evening storms with a high in the 92-95 degree range.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: A weak surface boundary will approach from the north, and the coverage of scattered showers and storms should be a little higher Friday and Saturday. Still, the overall idea remains the same. Mixed sun and clouds, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms, highs generally in the low 90s. Maybe mid 90s in spots Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Global models continue to show a nasty heat wave developing over the Central U.S…

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Thankfully Alabama will be on the periphery of this, but still I think we will see rising heat levels, and fewer showers and storms due to warmer air aloft. The Tennessee Valley could see 100 degree heat by the middle and end of the week. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: Tropical storm formation is not expected across the Atlantic basin anytime soon with dry air from the African deserts in place.

AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine each day from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores through the weekend, with a passing storm from time to time. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 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 Summer Storms

| 3:33 pm July 12, 2016

RADAR CHECK: Another afternoon of scattered showers and thunderstorms across Alabama. Heavier storms are capable of producing some hail and strong, gusty winds, and they all have very frequent lightning…

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These storms will die down later tonight, once the sun goes down.

TOMORROW/THURSDAY: Not much change, although I do think storms will be fewer in number on these days as the upper trough just north of our state dissipates. Partly sunny, hot, humid days with a few afternoon thunderstorms in scattered spots; highs 91-95.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: Pretty much the same story, although showers and storms should increase a bit on these three days with a weak surface front approaching from the north. Still, they will be scattered, and days will feature a mix of sun and clouds with highs generally in the low 90s.

NEXT WEEK: Global models continue to show potential for some nasty heat developing northwest of Alabama thanks to a strong upper high, but we will be only on the periphery of that, so our weather won’t change much, and we expect more classic summer weather with a mix of sun and scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the 90s.

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TROPICS: Dry air covers much of the tropical Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected anytime soon.

AT THE BEACH: As is usually the case this time of the year, a passing shower or storm will happen from time to time, but we expect about 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily through the weekend from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach. Highs on the immediate coast in the 87-90 degree range, with low to mid 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…

Sun, Heat, Storms

| 6:18 am July 12, 2016

MUST BE JULY IN ALABAMA: Weather maps this morning are showing the classic July pattern. The main band of westerly winds aloft, or what most call the “jet stream”, is over the far northern part of the continental U.S., and down our way we have an upper ridge in place. There is a weak upper trough over Tennessee that is in the process of losing it’s identity. This will mean standard mid-summer weather for our state through the rest of the week. A good supply of morning sunshine, followed by scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Best chance of a passing storm will come from about 2:00 until 8:00 p.m., and the chance of any one spot getting wet is in the 25-30 percent range. Afternoon highs will be mostly in the 90-93 degree range, right at seasonal averages.

THE WEEKEND: Some chance the coverage of scattered storms will be a tad higher by Friday and the weekend thanks to a weak surface boundary north of us, but the overall idea remains the same. Partly sunny, hot, humid days with mostly afternoon and evening showers and storms in scattered spots. Highs remain between 90 and 93 degrees. We just don’t have big weather changes this time of the year unless there is a tropical system involved.

NEXT WEEK: Global models continue to strongly suggest a nasty 6000 meter 500 mb upper high will form over the center of the nation, representing some big time heat. Thankfully we will be just on the periphery of that upper high, meaning the weather probably won’t change much. Hot, humid days, scattered showers and storms. Highs mostly in the 90s. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: A large mass of dry air coming off the Africa deserts covers the Atlantic basin, meaning tropical storm formation isn’t expected anytime soon.

AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sunshine daily on the coast from Panama City Beach over to Gulf Shores through the weekend, with the continued chance of a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 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 for the new episode we recorded last night.

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

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I will be speaking to a senior adult group today at First United Methodist Church in Roanoke… look for the next Weather Xtreme video here by 4:00 this afternoon. Enjoy the day!

Sun And Storms

| 3:26 pm July 11, 2016

RADAR CHECK: The most intense summer storms this afternoon are over East and South Alabama; heavy rain has been falling in places like Montgomery, Auburn, Lake Martin, and Roanoke. Other strong storms over Northeast Mississippi are about to move into West Alabama at 3:15 p.m. CT…

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The good news is that most communities are below 90 degrees at 3:00… Montgomery has cooled to 75 with rain falling. Storms will end tonight once the sun goes down and the air becomes more stable.

REST OF THE WEEK: The upper low near Memphis will slowly dissipate, and we will be left with standard summer weather conditions tomorrow through Friday. Hot, humid days, a partly sunny sky, and the risk of “scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms”. The chance of any one spot getting wet each afternoon will be in the 25-30 percent range, and highs will be generally in the low 90s. Just what we expect in mid-July.

THE WEEKEND: Best solution is simply a persistence forecast. Features that are responsible for changes in the placement and coverage of scattered showers and storms are small scale, and very hard to define days in advance. So, for Saturday and Sunday, expect partly sunny, hot, humid days with scattered showers and thunderstorms, especially during the peak of the afternoon heating process.

NEXT WEEK: We now have both global models (GFS and ECMWF) on board showing a pretty nasty heat bubble over the center of the nation; Alabama will be on the southeast periphery of this big upper high, so most likely the routine summer weather continues here. See the Weather Xtreme video for maps, graphics, and more details.

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TROPICS: Dry air covers much of the Atlantic basin, and tropical storm formation is not expected anytime soon.

AT THE BEACH: About 7 to 9 hours of sun each day from Panama City Beach to Gulf Shores through the weekend, with the usual risk of a passing thunderstorm from time to time. Highs 87-90 on the immediate coast, with low to mid 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 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…