Short-term showers, long-term expectations still looking dry

You may notice the chance of rain is up a bit for Thursday: now 30% for the Huntsville area.  Confidence is growing that we will see some rain over a broad area in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee from about 10 PM Wednesday through 10 AM Thursday.

How much?  Who gets it?

While all of North Alabama stands a chance, the greater potential exists in a narrow band from east-central Mississippi across Northwest Alabama into Southern Tennessee.

What good will a tenth to a quarter-inch of rain do?  It won’t dent the drought, but it does serve to provide a little water for dry ponds and low streams as well as settle the dust and pollen (ragweed is the only pollen out there registering on the scale at this point in the season).

Many forecast models are available publicly for free, and there are a lot of bad weather apps and websites that take that very long range model data and turn it into something that looks like a high-confidence forecast.  (You may see a 90% chance of rain on day 14 change to a 0% chance the next day – that’s straight model data.)

ce_rainfall-deficitWe see the same thing in the 10-14 day time frame that we have seen all season from the American-run model: stormy weather.  Its European counterpart is having none of that, and it has been a much more reliable model suite lately.

The over-all weather pattern shows no signs of changing dramatically: jet stream to the north, unusually warm weather around here, and no substantial rain through at least the first week of November.  Even longer-term guidance is relatively dry through November 15th; after that, even the European ensembles are looking better for rain:

Via WeatherBell.com

Via WeatherBell.com

In that model output, you see the rain increasing dramatically from November 21st through early December.  It’s still “below average,” but at least we see some hope of a little more consistency in rainfall within the next 45 days.

So what can you take away from that?

It will rain again.  It will rain a lot again at some point.  We may even get a few storm systems that provide several inches of rain between now and January.  The problem is in the frequency: no consistency in the rainy weather.  That likely keeps us drier than normal and in a significant drought all the way to the beginning of next Spring.

Need some specifics about the weekend or next week? They’re always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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