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James Spann: Occasional rain, storms for Alabama through Thursday

James Spann forecasts a sometimes rainy week for Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

RADAR CHECK: Rain is widespread over the northern two-thirds of Alabama early this morning thanks to a stalled surface front to the west and a disturbance that moved out of the Gulf of Mexico last night. The rain will taper off from the southwest later this morning, and most of the afternoon and tonight should be dry, with only spotty lingering showers around. The high today will be between 77 and 80 degrees; the average high for Birmingham on May 23 is 84.

For Tuesday we expect more clouds than sun along with a few scattered showers, nothing especially widespread. The high will be close to 80 degrees.

WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY: More beneficial rain is likely for Alabama as an upper trough slowly approaches and a very moist air mass remains in place. Occasional rain and a few thunderstorms are likely both days. The Storm Prediction Center has defined a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms for parts of north and west Alabama Wednesday due to the potential of hail and gusty winds.Rain amounts Wednesday and Thursday will be 2-3 inches for much of the state.

FRIDAY AND THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND: A slot of dry air will work into the state late Thursday night, and Friday will be mostly sunny with a high close to 80 degrees. We expect delightful weather for the three-day holiday weekend, with sunny days, fair nights and highs in the 80s — about as nice as it gets in late May in Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: The weather looks fairly quiet, with just a few spotty showers over the latter half of the week and highs between 87 and 91 degrees.ON THIS DATE IN 1968: One of the costliest hailstorms in Oklahoma City history pummeled the city. Hail the size of baseballs fell over much of the city, resulting in more than 40,000 insurance claims over the 90,000-square-mile path of the storm. The final cost was more than $20 million. The parent thunderstorm also caused flash flooding that left 2 to 4 feet of water in some underpasses. A lightning strike started a fire that killed two people.

BEACH FORECAST: Click here to see the AlabamaWx Beach Forecast Center page.

WEATHER BRAINS: You can listen to our weekly show all about weather any time on your favorite podcast app. James Spann and a team of meteorologists from around the nation bring on interesting guests; it’s a great podcast for weather geeks.

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