Tuesday marked the fourth-straight day and the eighth day of August with no rainfall in Huntsville; technically no part of Alabama is in ‘drought’ right now, but if the rain doesn’t come soon and come steady, we will keep inching that direction. A somewhat rainy setup begins on Thursday; that leads to numerous ‘scattered’ showers and thunderstorms from Thursday through the first part of next week, and those occasional (but numerous) downpours end our dry spell and bring down the heat a few notches!
In the short-term, it’s still mostly just hot and dry. It doesn’t get quite as comfortable tonight; lows only drop into the upper 60s.
A few isolated showers are possible Wednesday, but the majority of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee sees yet another day with hot summer sunshine and precious little rainfall.
Expect highs in the lower-to-middle 90s and a heat index in the 95ºF to 100ºF range. The chance of a brief shower Wednesday stands at only 20 percent.
Late week rainfall potential: Need some rain? A slow-moving, relatively weak storm system drags a cool front toward North Alabama late this week. The front lingers around through Saturday and Sunday while more weak ‘impulses’ (wave of energy embedded in the jet stream) drift overhead. There’s not enough ‘push’ to get the front all the way south of us this weekend, so we’ll stick with a chance of some scattered showers and thunderstorms the whole way: Thursday through Sunday and even Monday of next week.
Several waves of rain and thunderstorms are likely in that timeframe. That helps multiply the effects of the hit-or-miss nature of the downpours. Spots getting 3 or 4 brief heavy bouts of rainfall could quickly get more than 1-2″ of rain in a single day. On the other hand, there are still going to be some spots that don’t get all that much!
Forecast model guidance pictured below shows around two inches of rain on average; however, modeling is built on a grid that has 18 miles between individual grid points (that’s where these numbers come from). Thunderstorms are smaller than that grid, so it’s doing its best to smooth it all out into a picture that fits what the weather should do.
What does that mean to you? It means the specific numbers here are a literal computer guess at what it could be. You should expect something in that ballpark over the next seven days, but that specific number or specific placement is not to be taken as the literal ‘forecast’ for a spot. This particular model has been a little aggressive with higher-end rainfall amounts this summer, so you could also look at this as your best-case (or worst-case depending on your viewpoint) for rainfall.
Weekend outlook: It’s looking quite a bit wetter and unsettled for the weekend, and the closer we get, the wetter it looks.
Is it a total washout? A rainout? A gullywasher all weekend? That’s doubtful, but you should consider a back-up plan for anything you had expected to do outdoors from Friday through Sunday.
This probably won’t be your weekend to wash a car, but there will be some periods to get grass cut, do outdoor work, and spend time outdoors doing things other than work. Just be aware that some big-time downpours are possible, and if one approaches you, you’ll want to move it inside quickly.