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James Spann: Scattered storms today over central, south Alabama

James Spann forecasts slightly lower temperatures for Alabama this week from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

DRY DAY FOR NORTH ALABAMA: Drier air has moved down into the northern third of the state today; the day should be dry there with a good supply of sunshine and a high in the upper 80s. We will mention the chance of a few random, scattered showers and storms this afternoon and tonight over the central and southern counties, where moisture levels are higher.

REST OF THE WEEK: The weather won’t much change Tuesday, but moisture creeps northward Wednesday, and we will mention scattered showers and storms in the forecast each day Wednesday through Friday. The best chance will come from about 2 until 10 p.m. each day; otherwise the sky will be partly sunny with a high between 88 and 92 degrees. Higher coverage of showers and storms will be near the Gulf Coast.

The Storm Prediction Center has defined a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for parts of north and central Alabama Wednesday; a few storms could produce strong winds.

THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: We will stick with a persistence forecast. Look for pretty routine summer weather with partly sunny days, fair nights and a few showers and storms during the afternoons and evenings. Afternoon highs won’t be too far from 90 degrees as the core of the heat across the nation remains west of Alabama.

NEXT WEEK: The upper high will begin to nose in here, meaning slightly higher heat levels, with highs between 90 and 95 degrees most days. And we’ll have the usual risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.TROPICS: A surface trough of low pressure is expected to form in a couple of days over the northern Gulf of Mexico, partially related to a decaying frontal boundary over the southeastern United States. Some slow development of this system is possible if it remains offshore during the middle and latter part of the week while it moves little. Regardless of development, heavy rains will be possible along portions of the northern Gulf coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle over the next several days.

The National Hurricane Center gives the system a 30% chance of a becoming a tropical depression or storm over the next five days.If you have a beach trip planned this week (anywhere from Gulf Shores over to Panama City Beach), you will see some sun, but the coverage of showers and storms will be somewhat enhanced by this feature in the northern Gulf.

The rest of the Atlantic basin is quiet.

ON THIS DATE IN 1936: From July 5 through July 17 in Canada, temperatures exceeding 111 degrees in Manitoba and Ontario claimed 1,180 lives (mostly the elderly and infants) during the most prolonged, deadliest heat wave on record there. Four hundred of those killed were people who drowned seeking refuge from the heat. In fact, the heat was so intense that steel rail lines and bridge girders twisted, sidewalks buckled, crops wilted and fruit baked on trees. Some record temperatures include 112 degrees at St. Albans and Emerson, Manitoba, 111 at Brandon, Manitoba, and 108 at Atikokan, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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.