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It’s normally dry in the fall, but 2016 takes it to the extreme

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It all began with an abnormally dry spring, and though Huntsville received some rainfall over the summer, autumn has been exceptionally dry.

In a "normal" year, as much as 9.85 inches of rain falls between September 1 through November 17. That rainfall total expands through November 30, with a grand total of 12.25 inches in a normal 3-month period.


This year has been quite different.

Between September 1 and November 17, a mere 1.25 inches of rain has fallen at Huntsville. These rainfall totals are the result of a single day of rain in September; a single day in October; and a mere 0.01 inch of rainfall in November.

The result is a rainfall deficit of 8.60 inches for the season. When compounded with the rainfall deficit that has been ongoing since April, the yearly deficit is nearly 12.5 inches.

As a result, extreme drought now encompasses all of northern Alabama, and it also extends into southern Tennessee. Exceptional drought conditions continue east of I-59, but exceptional drought has now extended west of I-65 as well.

Some Good News: Rain on the way

Rain is in the forecast for late Friday night through early Saturday morning. While we cannot guarantee that everyone will receive rain, those who do are expected to receive anywhere from a few drops to as much as half an inch, depending on where the rain showers and heavy downpours develop.

Looking forward to the Thanksgiving Holiday, a few showers are also possible Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.

(MORE: Tennessee Valley weather forecast discussion)

With that said, the coming rain will literally be mere drops in an ever expanding deficit bucket. The Tennessee Valley will need several weeks of 1+ inch rainfall in order to pull out of the current drought.