By JAMES SPANN, Alabama News Center
WET PATTERN PERSISTS: A persistent upper trough over the region will keep the weather across Alabama unsettled through the first half of the week. We have a number of showers and storms on radar early this morning, and we expect a mostly cloudy sky through Tuesday statewide with occasional showers and thunderstorms. There’s no risk of organized severe storms, but the stronger ones will produce heavy rain and lots of lightning. Temperatures will remain well below average for mid-summer; highs will be between 78 and 82 degrees today and Tuesday. The average high for Birmingham on July 19 is 91.
REST OF THE WEEK: We are forecasting a mix of sun and clouds Wednesday through Friday with scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms each day. Most of the rain (but not necessarily all of it) will come from about 1 until 11 p.m. Temperatures will trend upward as we see more sun; the high will be in the mid 80s Wednesday and Thursday, followed by upper 80s Friday.
THE ALABAMA WEEKEND: The weather will be fairly routine for late July — partly sunny days with random, scattered, mostly afternoon and evening thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. Odds of any one place getting wet both days will be 35-45%, and highs will be between 88 and 91 degrees as the warming trend continues.
NEXT WEEK: Global models suggest an upper ridge will build across the southern U.S., meaning a trend toward drier, hotter weather. We will have a risk of widely scattered showers and storms each day during the afternoon and evening, but days should feature a pretty decent amount of sunshine with highs mostly in the low 90s.
TROPICS: The Atlantic basin remains very quiet, and tropical storm formation is not expected this week.
RAIN UPDATE: Here are rain totals since Jan. 1, and the departure from average:
- Mobile — 48.5 inches (10.78 inches above normal)
- Tuscaloosa — 44.31 (13.04 above normal)
- Birmingham — 40.04 (6.42 above normal)
- Huntsville — 38.02 (6.09 above normal)
- Dothan — 37.56 (6.98 above normal)
- Muscle Shoals — 35.94 (3.95 above normal)
- Montgomery — 32.28 (2.55 above normal)
- Anniston — 31.52 (0.29 above normal)
ON THIS DATE IN 1997: Hurricane Danny moved to the mouth of Mobile Bay near Fort Morgan just before dawn. The hurricane then drifted into southern Mobile Bay and stalled. It finally made landfall near Mullet Point at midday as a Category 1 hurricane. Danny drifted across Baldwin County through the rest of the day and into the morning of July 20. The weakening cyclone finally turned north late in the day and moved over the extreme northwest Florida panhandle before proceeding to move north and northeast over Alabama for the next two days.
Radar estimated an incredible 43 inches of storm total rain over the open water in Mobile Bay. Observing sites reported 30-40 inches across the area with Dauphin Island reporting 36.71 inches. Numerous roads were inundated and impassable for days after Hurricane Danny. Record flooding caused major damage to homes along the Fowl River in Mobile County and the Fish River in Baldwin County.
ON THIS DATE IN 2006: A derecho affected a sellout crowd of almost 44,000 St. Louis Cardinals fans packed into the new Busch Stadium. Winds of about 80 mph whirled around the St. Louis area, sending the fans running for shelter. The winds knocked out power and broke windows out of the press box. Nearly two minutes after the winds began at 100 mph, they stopped and it started to rain. About 30 people were injured at the stadium.
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