A storm system tracking near the Gulf Coast Tuesday night spreads clouds and rain across most of Alabama and Southern Tennessee before midnight. Some of that rain could be locally heavy at times producing more than a half-inch of rain.
On the whole, most communities will come in with less than a half-inch (closer to 0.10” or 0.25” in all).
The clouds and rain keep it chilly Wednesday: highs in the 45-50ºF range with a stiff northwest wind gusting as high as 20 mph in the afternoon as the showers taper off.
Few freezes, warmer weekend: Thursday morning and Friday morning offer a chance of some frost and (for most) a freeze. Huntsville has only recorded eleven freezes in 2017; by this time in February, we should have between 20 and 25 on the books based on data since 1959.
So, in the next week, we expect more of what we’ve seen for a majority of the winter: above-average temperatures, below-average rainfall, and very little chance of truly “active” weather given the time of year in which we find ourselves.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. On one hand, it means no severe or winter weather in our near future. On the other hand, it’s not good for the ongoing drought. That drought has improved a lot lately, but it won’t take much to start slipping backward into a more serious situation.
As far as the weekend goes, it’s looking much warmer than a typical mid-February weekend would! Expect highs in the 60s and 70s on Saturday and Sunday, and while the chance of rain Saturday isn’t zero, we certainly don’t see a total wash-out of a day.
What’s the long-range look like? We get daily emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, and comments in general passing asking the same question: “are we going to get any cold weather/snow before Spring?”
The answer is the same every time: probably not anything significant. The latest Week 3-4 outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (NOAA) keeps it warmer than normal from late February early March; the same period may also include some stormy weather with above-average precipitation.
Having said that, don’t plant your garden or spring flowers yet! It only takes one good cold snap to ruin a lot of hard work. Huntsville’s average final freeze of the season happens on April 2nd, but even in a ‘warm’ year, one strong cold front can bring a late freeze.