Hot & humid with hit-or-miss heavy storms: more of the same through Friday

Rain shaft and shelf cloud over Russellville Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Rodney Cox

Rainfall lately has been feast or famine: individual thunderstorms dropping more than 1-2” of rain in less than one hour in some neighborhoods while others stay bone dry (and hot).

Scattered storms rumbling around on Wednesday afternoon are more of the same, and you can look forward to more days like this through the rest of the week, this weekend, and next week.

The chance of daily downpours increases from Thursday and Friday into the weekend, and while it won’t rain all day any day, you can expect some storms in the area (or right overhead) from late morning to early evening every day through next week.

Temperatures still manage to make the lower and middle 90s Thursday with a heat index upwards of 100ºF to 105ºF in the afternoon even with a slightly better chance of some scattered storms.

Futurecast simulated radar for Thursday, July 12

About that ‘rain chance:’ The chance of rain on a given day is based on two things: confidence that rain actually falls and how much of the area should see enough rain to measure in a simple rain gauge (around a tenth of an inch). Thunderstorms in the summer rarely bring rain to every square inch of our forecast area in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee, but they do bring unevenly distributed excessively heavy downpours!

The chance of rain is up across the board through the weekend and next week. Each day has a chance of some locally-heavy thunderstorms, but no day is a guarantee that it will rain on a specific piece of property. Meteorology can explain how the storms developed once they’ve occurred, but we can not see the fine, exact details in advance.

Take this Lawrence County storm Wednesday afternoon for example:

Less than half of Lawrence County was getting rain at 2:13 PM, but those who were getting it got slammed with a rainfall rate of around 5-6” per hour! (That’s a radar estimate that basically says if it rained this hard for 1 hour, you’d have that much rainfall).

We find ourselves just on the outskirts of a strong ridge for the next several days. Ridges tend to suppress thunderstorm activity beneath them, but we aren’t quite underneath it. That makes us more susceptible for thunderstorm development each afternoon and evening through at least the middle of next week.

The weekend ahead: This upcoming weekend looks a lot like last weekend: periods of sunny, beautiful weather and other periods when it’s raining so hard you can’t see across the street. Expect more scattered thunderstorms on hot, humid days over the weekend. Temperatures top out close to 90ºF both Saturday and Sunday with a roughly 50-50 shot at your neighborhood, lake, park, hiking trail, or gold course getting a thunderstorm between 11 AM and 8 PM.

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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