The Autumnal Equinox -- also known as the First Day of Fall -- will take place in the Tennessee Valley on September 22 and 9:21 a.m. Are you excited?!
According to climatology for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals, the average morning low temperature on September 22 is roughly 60 degrees, and the average afternoon high temperature is 83 degrees.
But that's the average -- what can we expect for the first day of fall 2016?
It's too soon to give a definite forecast, but we can get a sense for what kind of pattern will set up nationwide as well as in the Valley.
In its 6 to 10 day outlook, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) anticipates a 50 percent chance of above average temperatures for much of central and northern Alabama (as illustrated in the image above). In other words, the CPC is anticipating a good chance of above average temperatures for the first day of fall.
Forecast model guidance supports this outlook. According to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System (CFS), the average (or "mean" as labeled here in this graphic) forecast temperature departures for the Tennessee Valley span as high as 0.5 to1 degree warmer than average.
That may seem like "no big deal", but that's 0.5 to1 degree Celsius, which translates to roughly double that amount in Fahrenheit (1.8 times, to be exact). As a result, expect daytime highs to run about 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than what climatology suggest.
The result: If model guidance is correct, we can expect daytime temperatures to reach somewhere near 84 to 85 degrees -- comfortable and pleasant for the first week of September.
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