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Encouraging signs of drought relief on the horizon

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A large, hot, dry “ridge” over the Central and Eastern United States through the weekend keeps the jet stream (storm track) far enough north to put some sizzle into Saturday and Sunday. It also acts to suppress pop-up afternoon thunderstorms even in areas where the air is very hot and humid. A pattern change brings a better chance of rain and knocks down the heat some next week.

Data pix.

The ridge (sometimes called a “high” or a “block”) breaks down, shifts west, and allows the jet stream to dip south toward the Tennessee Valley by the middle of next week. That increases the chance of rain and thunderstorms; in fact, some locally-heavy rain looks possible with several waves of heavy thunderstorms.

Read the Forecast Discussion at WHNT.com

One particular set of model guidance puts the potential for as much as four to six inches of rain squarely over Northwest Alabama and North Mississippi over the next ten days. That’s probably a little extreme on the whole, but it is conceivable that some communities could get 4-5” of rain cumulative through next weekend; that won’t be the majority of us, but it is certainly possible.

So when does this begin?

Some scattered showers and storms develop over the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday provide just enough heat and humidity to fuel a hand full of isolated showers and storms. “Isolated” does not mean “light.” Any storms that develop could briefly produce very heavy rain, gusty winds, and frequent lightning over small areas.

The better chance of some helpful rain comes from Tuesday to Friday with some scattered storms hanging around through next weekend.

Whether it's hot, stormy or perfect, Live Alert 19 is the best resource for instant information; it's available for iPhone and Android, and we provide a lot more than the forecast there!

-Jason
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