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James Spann: Strong storms possible in Alabama through the evening

RADAR CHECK: Scattered strong thunderstorms continue to develop across Alabama this afternoon ahead of a surface front near the Tennessee state line. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 8 p.m. for parts of west-central Alabama.Heavier thunderstorms this afternoon are capable of producing strong winds and gobs of lightning; they will also be very efficient rain producers. Storms will begin to weaken and fade after sunset.

THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Drier air will work into north and central Alabama Thursday; most communities over the northern half of the state will be dry Thursday and Friday with highs in the low 90s. A few scattered showers and storms will remain possible both days over south Alabama, but even there the rain won’t be especially widespread. For the weekend, we expect very routine midsummer weather — partly sunny days with a few random, scattered showers and storms during the afternoon and evening. The high Saturday and Sunday will be between 88 and 92 degrees.

NEXT WEEK: We will stick with the standard summer forecast for the week. The worst heat in the nation will remain west of here; highs will be in the low 90s much of the week with the usual risk of scattered, mostly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Expect partly sunny days and mostly fair nights.

TROPICS: The elongated trough along the Gulf Coast will slowly dissipate over the next few days, and tropical storm formation is not expected across the Atlantic basin for the next five to seven days. The number of showers and storms along the central Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach) will trend downward by Friday and the weekend, with increasing amounts of sun.

ON THIS DATE IN 1951: Rivers across eastern Kansas crested well above flood stage, causing the most significant destruction from flooding in the midwestern United States at that time. About 500,000 people were left homeless and 24 died in the disaster.

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.