The humidity began rising early Monday, and it keeps getting more and more sticky as Gulf moisture streams northward again.
A bone-dry weekend gave us a little taste of early Fall; however, that summertime feel is back today! Widely scattered storms develop through the evening hours, and a few could briefly get strong with gusty winds, small hail, and frequent lightning.
More scattered storms develop on Tuesday: our best rain chance day of the week (80%). Even at 80%, the coverage looks very uneven! Some spots likely see more than 1.5” of rainfall through Tuesday evening, and a few may see practically nothing. Thanks to the higher humidity and a slow-moving disturbance nearby, we see a chance of some scattered, mainly afternoon and evening storms all week long.
We need some rain! The year-to-date rainfall numbers don’t look all that bad. Huntsville shows a two-inch surplus; Muscle Shoals shows a five-inch surplus.
But what have you done for me lately? Little-to-no ‘organized’ rainfall throughout July has left us feeling a little dry. Yes, we did have a lot of daily hit-or-miss storms in the region, but many of us got missed a lot more than we got hit! In fact, it’s easier to count the spots that got the rain than those who didn’t. Radar estimates in Madison, Morgan, Lincoln, Franklin (TN), and Jackson Counties show precious little rain over the past thirty days: around 3” to 5” below normal.
The scattered storms this week will help, but they won’t get us 100% coverage of good soaking rainfall from border to border in Alabama and Tennessee. The best chance of truly beneficial rainfall comes over Northeast Alabama through Friday afternoon; however, these kinds of set-ups in summer give us feast of famine! It either rains so hard that it practically floods, or it doesn’t rain enough to settle the dust.
Cooler-than-average for a while: Welcome to the hottest period of the year: climatologically speaking. Huntsville’s average daily temperature is highest from late July to mid-August, but a ‘trough’ in the jet stream keeps the rain chances up and the temperatures down this week. After a typically-hot Monday, temperatures drop some thanks to clouds, showers, storms and some slightly cooler air moving in from the north. Expect highs in the 80s through the end of the week: around 5ºF to 10ºF below average for this time of year.
The weekend and beyond: One thing is sure: next weekend won’t be quite as pleasant as last weekend! The chance of daily storms drops into the 10-20% range for Saturday and Sunday; however, the humidity stays high, and temperatures jump back toward the upper 80s and lower 90s. That means the heat index becomes more of a factor again: making it feel like it’s 95ºF+ again.
Hotter, drier weather likely sets up early next week as a strong ridge develops over the region. Ridges usually pump up the heat and shut down the storms; temps may rise into the lower and middle 90s again as soon as Sunday and Monday.