All is quiet here in North Alabama this afternoon and evening, with a mix of sun and clouds lingering across the region. A stray shower or two remains possible this evening, but many locations will remain dry. Mostly cloudy skies overnight will act like a blanket over North Alabama, keeping temperatures in the low 70s. The first half of Thursday will remain dry here at home. However, all eyes will be on Hurricane Laura and its ongoing devastation of the Louisiana coast. As of this evening, Laura is an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with 145 MPH sustained winds. Laura is expected to make landfall just after midnight in southwest Louisiana at Category 4 strength. The remnants of Laura will continue through Louisiana then into Arkansas. By Friday, Laura will make a sharp eastward turn across Kentucky.
North Alabama will escape the most severe impacts from Laura. However, we will see widespread showers and thunderstorms arrive Friday afternoon, lingering into Friday night and early Saturday. Data sources are beginning to suggest a line of storms will sweep through the area in that time period. For the time being, our concern for strong to severe storms is low. The main threat is shaping up to be heavy rain. Latest forecasts indicate between one to two inches are expected through the weekend, with locally higher amounts closer to three inches along the Mississippi state line. North Alabama returns to the typical summertime pattern of afternoon showers and storms by Sunday. Highs will be a few degrees cooler to start the new work week, with lows in the mid 80s.