Finally Some Rain! Showers move in by Thursday, but where’s the cold weather?

Fifth-driest November on record so far, some rain still possible this week

The driest November since 1965 keeps rolling along in the dust; the monthly rainfall deficit hit a whopping -3.70″ Tuesday, but there is at least a little rain in sight!  We stay dry tonight and most of Wednesday; it won’t be as cold tonight as lows only drop to the upper 30s and lower 40s.  It gets warmer again Wednesday!  Expect a high in the upper 60s in most communities, but a few spots might briefly touch 70ºF or 71ºF before the sun sets.

Some spotty showers are possible by 6 PM Wednesday over northwestern Alabama; those showers spread farther east through the night into Thursday.  Expect on-and-off rain throughout the day Thursday: occasional light to moderate showers.  Total rainfall through Thursday evening ahead of a cold front likely only adds up to around 0.10″ to 0.25″ on average with a few spots getting more than one-half inch.

Rainfall expectations over the next 7 days (GFS guidance – all of this happens in the next 72 hours)

Cold front brings rain but not much ‘cold:’  A weak cold front slides past the Tennessee Valley Thursday evening.  The rain comes to an end Thursday night, and it gets a bit cooler for Friday and the weekend.  Instead of upper 60s, daytime highs only warm to the lower and middle 60s: still slightly above average for this time of year (average = upper 50s for highs/upper 30s for lows).

Cold weather still a thing? Yes!

This pattern in mid-December likely brings the Arctic air to the Tennessee Valley

It may be mild now, but colder weather still looks very likely starting sometime around December 7th-10th.  The exact timing is questionable, and the rain/storm threat ahead of it is also somewhat uncertain.

Just know that a flip from 5ºF above average over the next 8 days to about 10-15ºF below average probably won’t come without a fight of some kind.

That may mean some beneficial rain, or it could mean some stormy weather during that transition.  It’s too soon to say for sure, but we’ll keep you posted!

So how cold could it get?

The latest GEFS data suggests a 5-day period with temperatures as cold as 9ºF below average.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but 9 points above or below the average for an extended period is a big deal!

GEFS 12Z (6AM) 11-28-17 temperature anomaly average between December 9th and 14th

For some perspective, think back to some of the coldest Decembers in recent memory: 2000 (3rd coldest on record in Huntsville), 2010 (11th-coldest), and 2005 (18th-coldest).

December 2000 was 9.2ºF below average, and it’s the THIRD-COLDEST on record in Huntsville.

Some data from the European guidance suggests it might be even colder than that.

European guidance showing temperature anomalies at roughly 5,000′ above the surface on Dec. 11

Yes, friends, it’s going to get cold this year.

Will it snow?

This kind of pattern does not scream major winter storm, but we can get those sneaky light snows with this kind of set-up. If you were around on Christmas 1989, we had a White Christmas with close to an inch of snow coming from a little system that didn’t look like it would do much at all. So if you’re hoping for some early-season snow, you might get your wish!

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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