All of the rain that we’ve seen this month is really adding up! Just in February Huntsville has picked up 5.08 inches of rain, while Muscle Shoals has seen 6.58 inches of rain. If we didn’t see another drop of rain for the rest of the month it would still be 17th wettest on record for Muscle Shoals! We are going to see more rain though; another 2-3 inches is possible in the next 7-10 days.
Yes, More Rain is Coming: We’ll get hit-and-miss showers through Sunday evening moving in from the south as a weak warm front lifts north through Alabama. That will send in much milder air for tonight with lows only dropping into the mid to upper 50s. That warmer southern air will surge north into the Valley giving us a stretch of highs in the 70s through the middle of this week!
We don’t see a day this week that’s totally dry, but Monday and Tuesday will come close. A stray shower is possible at any point these days as moisture continues to flow into the Tennessee Valley from the south, but many of us will enjoy dry afternoons.
Our next chance at a good soaking rain moves in Wednesday. A cold front will slowly approach and move through Wednesday and Thursday, keeping rain chances high both days. Showers could get heavy, which means we’ll have to keep a close eye on any chance of flooding again.
We won’t see a swift hit of dry air behind this front either, so at least isolated rain chances will continue into next weekend too. Altogether we’re looking at another 2-3 inches of rain by the end of the next 7 days.
How could we still be in drought? If you’ve been following the US Drought Monitor, then you know we had slipped into a severe drought at the end of January. All of the rain in February has definitely helped us make up some lost time. For the year of 2018 Huntsville is still running a deficit of about 1″; If we factored in November and December of 2017 we would have a deficit of 6.5 inches.
The US Drought Monitor considers conditions such as rainfall, soil and vegetation health, and water levels. A big soaking rain like we saw last weekend will temporarily bump water levels, but many of these measurements will go down almost as quickly as they went up. It takes long-term improvements to chip away at a drought. Considering we’ve been consistently damp week after week, we should continue to see this reflected on the drought monitor too.