Tropical Downpours: spotty but heavy storms begin Tuesday

Huntsville set a new record high Monday afternoon: 95ºF.  It was the fifth-straight day in the 90s; we expect one more shot at 90ºF this week before rain and storms drop temperatures down a little closer to ‘average.’

Expect a hot, humid day to turn into a summer-like evening; temperatures only fall into the upper 60s tonight, and Tuesday looks like one more 90-degree day with a chance of some spotty showers and storms. The coverage goes from ‘spotty’ to ‘widespread’ between Wednesday and the weekend as a disturbance over the Gulf of Mexico pushes deep, tropical moisture north into the Tennessee Valley region.

Track heavy storms with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19!

How much rain? This is the time of year when rain totals can vary by several inches over several miles: very uneven coverage of heavy, tropical downpours. Some may get more than 3-4 inches this week; others may only end up with a half-inch, and the farther west you are (nearer the Mississippi border), the less likely it is that you get the really heavy rainfall.

Monday marked the eighth-straight day with no rainfall measured in Huntsville, so some rain would be a good thing for us agriculturally (and to help knock down the heat) this week.

’Alberto’ about to form? This week’s rain comes from a broad, disorganized tropical disturbance over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. We do not expect it to become a named storm (Alberto would be the first name on the list for 2018 in the Atlantic); however, it will still bring a lot of wind and rain to the Florida Gulf Coast through the middle of the week. The moisture this system brings northward from the southern Gulf and Caribbean is as tropical as it gets, and that means some of our downpours later in the week (Thursday and Friday in particular) could get very, very heavy. Severe storms are not expected at this time.

Looking toward the weekend: We just wrapped up the hottest, driest weekend of the year so far; in fact, it felt like mid-summer in mid-May! This weekend won’t be quite as hot, and we do expect some rain in the area on both Saturday and Sunday.

The scattered nature of the showers and storms means it may not rain on you for long, but you should expect some scattered showers and a few isolated thunderstorms on both Saturday and Sunday. Daytime highs will hit the mid-80s; overnight lows drop only to the mid-60s.

Need more 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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