Thunderstorms – some strong – becoming likely later this week
Wednesday marked the fifth-straight day with no measurable rain in Huntsville. It’s been dry lately, but rain becomes likely later this week and this weekend! A few more hit-or-miss downpours develop here and there on Thursday: mainly west of the Huntsville-Decatur area.
Expect another hot day Thursday: highs in the lower 90s with a heat index close to 100ºF. The Storm Prediction Center outlines a ‘MARGINAL RISK’ of severe storms in Tennessee and the northern edge of Alabama for Thursday; some isolated storms with gusty winds and small hail are possible.
Several days of scattered storms: The best chance of storms Thursday comes over Tennessee and far northern Alabama. On Friday, the ‘Marginal Risk’ envelopes almost all of North and Central Alabama, and it’s the same deal: a few stronger storms capable of producing strong wind gusts and hail along with heavy rain and intense lightning.
Showers and storms are still likely through Saturday and Sunday as a slow-moving, weak cool front stalls over North Alabama.
How much rain? The cumulative rainfall total through the middle of next week looks impressive; however, your individual daily total may not be very much at all! The uneven, scattered nature of the expected rain/storms through Monday and Tuesday means some days you get pounded with heavy rain, and other days you don’t.
Ensemble model guidance suggests a widespread 1.5” to 2.5” rainfall on average through the next seven days (most of it falling Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday). Some will get more, some will get less, but all of us have the best shot at rain we’ve had in quite some time.
Weekend washout? So will it rain all weekend? No. Should you cancel all outdoor plans? No. Does it look like we’ll at least have some rain now and then? Yes.
We’re not forecasting an all-day rain for either Saturday or Sunday. In fact, there will be periods of sunny, hot weather in between scattered thunderstorms. Expect around 60 to 90 minutes’ worth of rain either day. This kind of pattern does not typically lead to hours upon hours of rain; instead, it rains hard for a short time (might even have to contend with some wind and lightning, too).
So don’t cancel your outings, birthday parties, yard work, etc. Just be aware that you may have to alter your plans depending on where the storms develop and move. The highest chance of storms will come from around noon to 7 PM both days: during the warmest part of the day.