What caused the lines in the sky Monday, and is there any chance of cooler weather?

As the sun set Monday evening, there was a small shower beyond the Tennessee Valley’s horizon in just the right spot for a neat optical effect: a “cloud shadow.”

That little shower was over 400 miles away and only 15,000 feet tall (based on radar echo tops), but that view was spectacular if you got to see it.

Things like this are commonly visible if you've got the presence of mind to stop and enjoy the sights in the sky now and then.

Beautiful sunsets are common in mid-to-late September, but this heat is not.  Expect more hot weather this week!  Tuesday looks to be just as hot as Monday was:

The 100th day of 90ºF+ heat happens Tuesday; and we get more of those this week.

The 100th day of 90ºF+ heat happens Tuesday; and we get more of those this week.

What is normal anyway? Sometimes we toss around the words “normal” and “average” without really spelling out what that means. We compare daily temperatures to the 30-year average in the climate record. “Normal” or “average” for September 19th and 20th is a high of 84ºF and a low of 61ºF.

So we know we’re above average, but this kind of heat in September is way outside the norms. Through Sunday, the average daytime high for this September has been 93.5ºF; “average” would be 87.1ºF. That’s 6.4ºF above average through mid-month. The standard deviation (normal swings either above or below average) is only 6ºF.

This is very unusual, but it’s still not the hottest ever for North Alabama; in fact, it’s only the 9th hottest September on record in Huntsville going back to 1907!

Tuesday will be the 100th day of 90-degree heat this calendar year.  That's 7th-most on record in Huntsville (going back to 1907).  Monday's heat gets a repeat performance all week long:

Monday's highs (9/19/16)

Monday's highs (9/19/16)

So, with substantial rain absent from the forecast and more hot weather this week, when can we expect it to get cooler?

Not anytime soon.  See our Seven Day Forecast here on WHNT.com, or swipe over to the "Daily Forecast" section on Live Alert 19 to see the next 10 days.  You won't be jumping for joy just yet unless you love the heat!

-Jason
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