Low rain chances don’t mean ‘light’ rain is coming!

Heat, humidity and a few spotty storms stick around with us through the rest of the week; Huntsville had already hit 91ºF with a heat index of 98ºF by 1 PM Tuesday, and it looks like we’ll be getting much hotter than that on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

A few scattered thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and evening fade away by 9 PM leaving it warm and muggy overnight: lows in the lower 70s.

Expect a high in the 90ºF to 94ºF range Wednesday afternoon; the odds of rain are only 20% area-wide from noon to 6 PM. Tomorrow’s heat plus humidity gives us a heat index as high as 99ºF to 102ºF in the early afternoon.

What about that chance of rain? Tuesday’s chance of rain was forecast in the 10% to 20% range, and we did get a few downpours.

Scattered afternoon storms developed in the heat of the day Tuesday, and some of them rained on the exact same places that got heavy rain Monday in Franklin and Marion Counties. Radar estimated rainfall from 2 PM Monday to 2 PM Tuesday showed nearly two inches of rain in the past 24 hours near the Pigeye Community.

A low chance of rain does not indicate ‘light’ sprinkles this time of year! The rain chance is part confidence that storms will develop and part expected coverage of storms in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee. It’s important to keep that in mind when using the forecast; a low chance means a few spots will get rain – not that it won’t rain at all!

The rest of this week brings hit-or-miss daily downpours, and some days have better mix of confidence and coverage than others. Any day could bring briefly heavy rain to a single spot; however, the majority of the map around here won’t see much at all until early next week.

The heat builds through the weekend: A strong ridge nearby pushes the main branch of the jet stream north of Alabama and Tennessee for the rest of the week; that means no significant cool fronts and no storm ‘systems’ to whip up more widespread showers and storms. A lack of rain, dry ground, more sun: it all adds up to higher temperatures.

Daytime highs climb into the mid-90s on Thursday and Friday with a 20% to 30% chance of a few scattered storms. It stays hot through the weekend: highs 92ºF to 94ºF with a heat index as high as 105ºF on Saturday and Sunday. Storms may become a little more numerous this weekend, but there will still be plenty of time to be outdoors without the threat of rain, wind and lightning.

’Chris’ in the Atlantic: ‘Chris’ is still east of the Carolinas and now moving northeast away from land. It won’t be a major risk to the US coastline, but it could cause rough surf and rip currents on the East Coast (this is no problem at all for the Alabama/Florida coast). Track Chris’ movement and see the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19! Be sure to turn ON the ‘Tropical Tracks’ feature.

Need some 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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