Talk about a change! Temperatures were as much as 15 to 20 degrees colder Tuesday afternoon compared to Monday; tomorrow, we’ll be up about 10 to 15 degrees across the board.
Expect a freeze tonight: 10-12 hours at or below freezing with the low coming in around 24ºF to 29ºF. A strong high pushing cold air in Monday slips east of the region on Wednesday allowing warmer air to return from the south; a southerly wind around 10 to 15 miles per hour brings temperatures up to the mid-50s in the afternoon under a mostly sunny sky.
Don’t forget about the Super Blue Blood Moon!
Another cold front arrives: Wednesday looks like our ‘best’ weather day of the week: sunny and cool but still about ‘average’ for the final day of January. Clouds thicken and rain begins to move in Thursday morning: starting with spotty, light showers in the morning, increasing to more widespread coverage from 3 PM to midnight.
Colder air catching the back end of the moisture might be just enough to turn some raindrops to snowflakes overnight Thursday into Friday; however, no significant accumulation of snow or ice is expected!
How much rain comes with this one? Not enough to satisfy our needs for sure. Over-all rainfall projections for Thursday and early, early Friday morning look to be around 0.20” to 0.50” at best. We’ve already established a -3.06” rainfall deficit for the month (compared to average), so nickel and dime rainfall like this won’t do much to stave off the developing drought conditions in the short-term.
We need the rain: January has been cold, and it has been dry. Official data from Huntsville International Airport and Northwest Alabama Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals show a top-10 driest January on record. We’ve only had about 30% of our normal rainfall for the month so far, and going back to December, our 60-day rainfall deficit in Huntsville is now greater than FOUR inches (-4.50″ through Tuesday to be exact).
Why so dry?
The cold weather pattern that gave us one of the coldest starts to January on record, and since the pattern that brings the cold shuts off the Gulf of Mexico’s influence, it doesn’t rain much.
The weather pattern in the weeks ahead does somewhat resemble that of January with one big exception: more back-and-forth and less persistent cold.
That back-and-forth, yo-yo kind of pattern is stormier, and with a stormier pattern, we’ll have a better shot at more rainfall. Between Thursday and Sunday, most of us will get about as much rain as we had all January: