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Another Hot One

| 6:21 am August 4, 2015

HOT, HOT, HOT: Monday was another hot day across Central Alabama. It was not the hottest day so far in 2015, but it wasn’t far away from it either. First order station highs ranged from 95F at Calera to 96F at Anniston to 97F at Birmingham to 99F at Tuscaloosa. Readings today will be about like those of yesterday, so you can take heart in the fact that it is not the hottest day of the year. Cool comfort though, since when you get this close to 100F, it is hard to tell the difference.

RAIN CHANCES TO INCREASE: A handful of paltry thunderstorms did manage to develop over the Northwest Corner of the state late yesterday afternoon, but they were short lived and very isolated in nature. The same will be the case today. But after today, rain chances will be ramping up as a longwave trough continues to be carved out over the eastern United States. A shortwave trough will ride southeastward along the base of the trough from Missouri late Wednesday into Thursday. Scattered showers and storms will reappear tomorrow, and become more likely on Thursday and Friday as the disturbance passes and a cool front approaches from the north.

WEEKEND OUTLOOK: The front will slide through the area on Saturday, delivering one more round of showers and storms. Then things should begin to dry out behind the front on Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: The heat ridge will really strengthen to our west next week, keeping us in a northwesterly flow aloft. This will provide chances for complexes of showers and thunderstorms to be spit at us from the Midwest.

VOODOO COUNTRY: Going out to August 19th, the GFS still shows a big trough over the eastern United States. We stay unsettled and cooler than average.

TROPICS: The low over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico moved inland over northern Florida yesterday, pre-empting the potential for a tropical depression to form. The NHC is still tracking it, but the chance of future development is low. Over the Central Pacific, Tropical Storm Guillermo is pass just north of the Hawaiian islands on Wednesday. High surf advisories are in effect for east facing shores of the Big Island. Winds won’t be especially strong, but seas will be high and up to three quarters of an inch of rain is expected with the system.

040 Guillermo

WEATHERBRAINS: The show that will was released into the wild last night was recorded ten days ago. It features a great interview with Rebecca Brandes-Gratz, the Author of “We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the Citizens of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City After Hurricane Katrina”. Check out the show at You can also subscribe on iTunes.

ON THIS DATE IN 1980: Dallas finally saw its incredible string of 42 straight days with temperatures over 100 degrees broken on this date. There would be 18 more 100 plus days in August and 4 more in September. The month of July was the hottest ever in the Big D. There would be no measurable rain in the month at Dallas. The tremendous heat wave and drought that summer killed 1200 people across the nation. Losses reached $200 million.

AND ON THIS DATE IN 1998: Dallas saw its streak of 29 consecutive days with temperatures 100 degrees or hotter at DFW come to an end. It was the second longest streak of 100 degree plus days in the city’s history, coming in second to the 42 straight days from 1980 that strangely ended on the same date.

JAMES RETURNS TOMORROW: Spann will be back in the swing with two videos tomorrow. Have a great Tuesday and try to stay cool!


Hot and Dry Again Today

| 6:23 am August 3, 2015

Middle to upper 60s are common this morning in the I-59/20 Corridor, but you don’t have to drive far to find 50s again, including the 59F at 5 a.m. at Cullman. The cooler spots over North Alabama are in the 50s again thanks to a very dry airmass over Alabama.

Sunday was a hot and dry day across Central Alabama with near total sunshine and highs in the middle 90s. Afternoon readings ranged from 95F at Anniston and Calera to 96F at Birmingham to 98F at Tuscaloosa.

HOT AND DRY WEATHER CONTINUES: Not only have showers and storms been hard to come by for the past few days across Central Alabama, but so have clouds. You will see more cumulus clouds today across the area today, but showers and storms will be basically non-existent. Any that do manage to form will be lonely and isolated. Here is the simulated radar reflectivity from the HRRR model for this afternoon:

030 HRRR

Highs today will be a degree or two hotter than those of yesterday, averaging between 95-98F. Look for them to go another degree hotter on Tuesday as we continue to bake.

HERE COMES ANOTHER FRONT: By Wednesday morning, a cool front will be languishing near Louisville KY, contemplating a run at the Gulf Coast. It will wait for a cluster of approaching upper level disturbances to carve the trough over the eastern United States deeper. This will provide the impetus for it to push through much of the state of Alabama again. We will be pulling for the European model to win out this weekend. Its solution pushes the front all the way through the area by late Friday, giving us over an inch of rain by Saturday morning and providing some cooler temperatures in the 80s. We will be pulling for you!

GULF COAST WEATHER: The coming week will be another beauty with the front remaining offshore until is washes out. Only widely scattered showers and storms will be in the picture until next Saturday, when the next front will try to visit the beach like this last one. Water temperatures continue to be in the upper 80s. Seas will be running around 1 foot until later in the week when the storms increase. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

WEATHERBRAINS: No live show tonight. The show that will be released into the wild tonight was recorded ten days ago. It features a great interview with Roberta Brandes-Gratz, the Author of “We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the Citizens of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City After Hurricane Katrina”. Check out the show at

We continue with our abbreviated video schedule today and tomorrow. James returns Wednesday. Have a great Monday and try to stay cool!


Nice Mornings, Hot Afternoons

| 8:28 am August 2, 2015

Apologies for the delay in the video this morning, and the quality, I got the blue screen of death on the laptop this morning and had to get the old one going this morning that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the new one.

A very nice start to our Sunday across Central Alabama as most locations our into those soothing 60s continuing to give us that hint of fall. It will be another day featuring plenty of sunshine, few clouds, almost no chance of rain, low humidity, but hot temperatures. Highs this afternoon will once again climb well into the 90s with most spots across Central Alabama in the mid-90s.

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ON THE MAPS: To the west of Alabama there remain an upper-level ridge. Across the eastern portions of the U.S., we are beginning to see another trough develop over Canada and it will be sliding down the eastern side of the ridge and will begin to bring us that northwesterly flow aloft that we have seen much of the summer, but mid-week, the trough is expected to be over much of the eastern half of the country and will help enhance our rain chances.

MONDAY/TUESDAY: These two day will continue to feature mainly sunny, hot, and for the most part dry conditions as the lower dew points will remain in place. Heights over the state will begin to increase and that will allow afternoon highs to increase as well. We are expecting to go from the mid-90s into the upper 90s in many spots. However, by late Tuesday, we should begin to see southerly flow return at the surface and that will allow moisture to return to Alabama by midweek.

SECOND HALF OF WEEK: From Wednesday through Friday, we are going to showers and storms become more prominent across Alabama. The upper-level trough and higher moisture levels will allow for more typical summer weather across the state. With the return of moisture that means humidity levels will be on the rise as well. For these days, expect scattered showers and storms mainly in the afternoon and evening hours. With the better rain chances will we will see highs back around the 90 degree mark.

AT THE BEACH: Highs along the coast have been ranging from 88-93 degrees, and that will continue into the week ahead. However, like clockwork each day, showers and storms will develop during the afternoon, which may run you in from the beach for a little while. Nevertheless, there will still be ample sunshine, and great weather to work on those tans. Seas are going to be running 1-2 feet, and the rip current threat is low along the Alabama Coast. However, the rip current threat is moderate along the Northwest Florida Coast, so use a bit more caution if getting in the waters in Florida the next few days. Water temps are in the mid-80s at most locations along the northern Gulf Coast. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here . The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

SPC OUTLOOK: An “Enhanced Risk” of severe thunderstorms is forecast today and tonight as severe storms are expected across the Great Lakes region today. This may include one or two organized storm clusters capable of generating swaths of potentially damaging wind gusts, in addition to severe hail, and perhaps a couple of tornadoes.

TOPIC TROPICS: For the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days as the basin remain very quiet.

WEEKEND SNEAK PEEK: The more active weather pattern appears to stick around for both days next weekend. That means hot and humid conditions with highs in the lower 90s. Also, we will see our daily dose of afternoon showers and storms, which is nothing too unusual this time of year.

LONG RANGE MODEL ENSEMBLE: As we continue to head through the month of August, the weather looks to stay hot. Now August is known for hot weather, but average highs this time of year for Central Alabama are usually in the lower 90s. Over the next two week, model data output shows that we can expect above average temperature through at least the middle of August.

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Sunny, but Hot

| 2:59 pm August 1, 2015

We continue to see ample sunshine and nearly clouds free conditions because of the drier air that remains in place across the state.

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This afternoon we are seeing lots of 90s on the maps across the state. Dew points this afternoon are in the lower 60s which is making the heat much more tolerable.

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Radars across the state are clear, and though the chance for rain is not zero, I think most locations will be staying dry today, except for portions of Southeast Alabama.

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FOR TONIGHT: A clear and pleasant night is ahead. After seeing those highs in the 90s today, once the sun sets, the temps will be heading down quickly because of the dry air. We are once again, expecting that hint of fall by tomorrow morning as most locations across Central Alabama will see lows in the 60s as we look at forecast model output below.

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SUNNY SUNDAY: It will be a rinse and repeat kind of forecast the next few days. Tomorrow will feature an abundance of sunshine, and after starting the day in the 60s, we are forecasting highs to once again return to the mid-90s for many spots across Central Alabama. This dry spell shows how efficiently the dry air heats up and cools off, by the wide diurnal temperature range we are seeing each day.


How Low?

| 8:11 am August 1, 2015

The 67F at the Birmingham Airport this morning is not close to a record, but we will take it as it represents a low that ranks in the coolest 15% of August 1st in the Birmingham climate period of record.

POSITIVELY FALLISH: Don’t get to say that too any times across Alabama in early August. 55F at Fort Payne and 59 at Cullman are the coolest first order station reports we can find this morning.

DON’T GET USED TO IT: It won’t last very long, as is often the case. By this afternoon, temperatures will be in the lower to middle 90s with all the dry air in place, and lows tonight will have a hard time dropping below 70F.

DID SOMEONE SAY DRY? The evening balloon sounding at Birmingham last night registered a preciptable water value of 0.67 inches. This is the third lowest July value ever observed in Central Alabama. Compare this to the Wednesday evening value of 2.03 inches, which is in the 90% percentile for July values here. Showers and storms on Friday were limited to Southeast Alabama, which was still in the moisture along and ahead of the front. You CAN get used to that, because It will be nearly impossible to scare up even an isolated shower north of US-80/I-85 through Sunday. And the rain chances Monday and Tuesday will be less than 10 percent in this area as well.


WHEN RETURNETH THE RAIN? Scattered showers and storms will return to their rightful places in the firmament over Alabama by Wednesday as an upper level trough approaches from the northwest. It will take nearly three days for it to traverse an arc just to our north. As it does it will slowly push a front toward us again. On Wednesday, it will be near Louisville. By Friday, it will have only traveled 175 miles or so to be near Chattanooga. That’s worse than the rate of travel on I-65 after a summer beach week. It will slowly elevate our rain chances into the weekend.

GULF COAST WEATHER: The weather along the beautiful beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida will be schizophrenic over the next few days with higher rain chances from Destin to the east. Lesser chances will be observed in places like Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores and Pensacola. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner <a href=”″>here</a>. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

WEATHERBRAINS:. We had a great visit with retired NWS Meteorologist in Charge Craig Edwards this week on WeatherBrains. Craig is the on site meteorologist for the Minnesota Twins and was one of the best guests in the show’s history. The Panel was all ears! Check out the weekly netcast that’s all about weather at You can also subscribe on iTunes. You can watch the show live at <a href=””></a> You can also see the show on the James Spann 24×7 weather channel on cable or directly over the air on the dot 2 feed.


Rare July Front

| 6:49 am July 31, 2015

Don’t look now, but the models were right. Whoever said that they would believe it when they saw it is having to believe it this morning. A rare July cool front actually made it through Central Alabama. It is pushing offshore of the northern Gulf Coast this morning. In its wake, dewpoints are in the low 60s in many spots in North Alabama and will fall back into the upper 50s today. That will make for magnificently low humidities across the area today.

MOSTLY DRY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Precipitable water values that were well over two inches just a couple of days about under 1.5 inches today.

012 PW

Understand the chance of a shower is not zero, but most of North Alabama will be dry through Sunday. Today will actually be fairly pleasant for the last day of July; we project a mostly sunny sky with a high in the low 90s, and lower humidity levels making the heat a little more tolerable. Any showers or storms will be confined mostly to South Alabama.

FALLISH? We are expecting temperatures to drop down into the mid 60s early tomorrow, and some of the normally cooler pockets across North Alabama might be close to 60 for a little hint of fall. Then, for the weekend the sky will stay mostly sunny tomorrow and Sunday with highs up in the mid 90s. Scattered showers and storms will remain over far South Alabama; the chance of any one spot getting wet tomorrow and Sunday over the northern third of the state is only 2 percent.

NEXT WEEK: Not much change Monday and Tuesday, but showers and storms could increase later in the week around Thursday with a surface front approaching from the north. Highs will hold in the 90s.

AT THE BEACH: Not much change; about 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily on the Gulf Coast from Panama City Beach west to Gulf Shores through early next week, with an occasional passing storm a good possibility. Highs on the coast will hold in the upper 80s, with mid 90s inland. Sea water temperatures are mostly in the mid 80s. See the complete Gulf Coast 7 Day Planner here. The Gulf Coast Beach Forecast is presented by Gulf Shores Plantation by Mandoki Hospitality Vacation Rentals. Escape to Gulf Shores Plantation where memories last a lifetime.

TROPICS: A weak surface low east of Georgia is moving northeast in the Atlantic, and development is not expected. A tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic, southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, is disorganized, but some slow development is possible over the next few days as it moves to the west. Dry air will hinder things, however.