Northern Alabama spent most of the fall hoping for rain, and December has delivered. Since December 1st Huntsville gained 4.79 inches of rain. That may not seem like a lot, but we only saw 2.90 inches the previous 3 months (from September 1st-November 30th). We still need more rain too, since all of the Valley is still under a moderate-severe drought.
The last week of 2016 will be another one that helps chip away at that drought. On Tuesday morning Huntsville picked up .45 inches of rain as a cold front moved through, and that was only one of three rounds of rain on the way this week. The next wave will be quick, coming in with scattered showers late Wednesday night through Thursday morning. It doesn’t look like that will bring us a lot of rain, since showers will still be battling some dry air at the surface.
This weekend is when we could get hit with another soaker. First, starting Saturday morning, a large trough out west will help set up a southwesterly flow aloft. What that will do is transport moisture from the Pacific over the southern US and into the Tennessee Valley. As more moisture is piled up in the atmosphere, we’ll likely start to see a few showers Saturday afternoon/evening. While we need the rain, it might put a damper on your New Year’s Eve plans.
The trough will then dig into the southwestern US before moving towards the Gulf states, bringing our next low pressure system for the start of the New Year. Scattered showers will likely pick up Saturday night and last through Sunday, with rain chances even continuing into next week. The southwesterly flow also means milder air, so winter weather doesn’t look likely at this time. We’ll be starting off with temperatures in the 30s Saturday morning though, so we’re keeping a close eye on the timing of the rain.
By the time we dry out late next week we could pick up another 2-3 inches of rain.
Stick with whnt.com/weather for updates and more specifics on your forecast this week!