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James Spann: Scattered storms daily for Alabama this week

RADAR CHECK: A number of summer soakers are in progress across Alabama this afternoon; the heaviest rain is generally south of I-20. It isn’t raining everywhere; that is just the way it works here this time of the year. Summer thunderstorms are random and scattered, but the stronger storms this afternoon are producing torrential rain; strong, gusty winds; small hail, and lots of lightning. Where rain is falling, temperatures are in the 70s; away from the showers readings are mostly between 84 and 90 degrees.

Showers and storms will fade after sunset; the low tonight will be close to 70 degrees.

REST OF THE WEEK: The weather won’t change much Tuesday through Friday. The heat dome has shifted west, and a surface front becomes stationary over north Alabama. This means a mix of sun and clouds each day with showers and storms, mostly from about 2 until 10 p.m. Odds of any one spot seeing rain each day are 35-45%, and highs will be mostly in the upper 80s — pretty much what you expect in late June in Alabama.

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: We don’t see any real change for the weekend. Days will be partly sunny, warm and humid with random, scattered storms mostly during the afternoons and evenings. There’s no way of knowing in advance exactly when and where the storms pop up; you just have to watch radar trends if you have an outdoor event planned. And, remember, when thunder roars, get indoors. Highs will remain between 86 and 90 degrees Saturday through Monday.

REST OF NEXT WEEK: The upper ridge tries to rebuild. Afternoon highs will be mostly in the low 90s through the week with hazy days and widely scattered afternoon showers and storms.TROPICS: Disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the north-central Gulf of Mexico are associated with a trough of low pressure. Development of this system is expected to be slow to occur while it moves west-southwestward at about 10 mph toward the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and approaches the coasts of southern Texas and northeastern Mexico during the next few days. The National Hurricane Center gives this only a 20% chance of development, and it will not directly affect the central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach).

In the Atlantic, a tropical wave about 700 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands is producing a large area of showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions appear conducive for development, and a tropical depression or a tropical storm is likely to form during the next day or so before the system reaches the Windward Islands Tuesday night, or possibly while it moves westward across the southern Caribbean Sea Wednesday through Friday. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft is investigating the system and has found winds to tropical storm force. Interests in the Windward Islands and along the northeastern coast of Venezuela should monitor the progress of this system, and tropical storm watches or warnings could be required for portions of these areas later today. Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible over the Windward Islands and the northeastern coast of Venezuela Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The NHC gives the system a 90% chance of development; it will likely move into Central America in five to seven days, staying far south of the U.S.

ON THIS DATE IN 1957: Hurricane Audrey made landfall between Sabine Pass and Johnsons Bayou, Louisiana, around 7 a.m. as a strong Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and a minimum central pressure of 27.94 inches. Just about everyone who lives in or grew up across southern Louisiana and southeast Texas knows the story of Hurricane Audrey, whether it was stories their parents or grandparents passed on or literature they read in the history books.

Hurricane Audrey ranks as the seventh-deadliest hurricane to strike the United States (the third-deadliest within Louisiana) in modern record keeping, with at least 500 deaths. The exact number will never be known, as many perished in the storm surge in Cameron and Vermilion parishes, and many missing persons were never found. Hurricane Audrey is also noted as being one of the strongest June hurricanes and the earliest major hurricane to make landfall across Louisiana, as well as the United States.

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

For more weather news and information from James Spann and his team, visit AlabamaWx.