Hurricane Florence made landfall just before 7 AM CDT near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a Category One hurricane. That’s important for North Alabama and Southern Tennessee for two reasons: (1) we are on the ‘dry’ side of the storm leaving us with only a few isolated pop-up showers and storms and (2) it’s not likely to have a ‘major’ impact on us here.
Temperatures have soared into the 90s this afternoon, and the heat index has been as high as 100ºF to 105ºF. It’ll be hot and humid early on for Football Friday high school games; it only cools to the lower 80s by the fourth quarter. Saturday and Sunday look mostly dry, but clouds drifting westward from ‘Florence’ may shade us just enough to keep temperatures lower Sunday afternoon.
Weekend weather: The weekend looks hot and dry for most of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee; however, some of the clouds from Florence’s west side will drift over Northeast Alabama and eastern Tennessee Sunday into Monday. That added shade may drop temperatures considerably from the low-90s in the sunshine in The Shoals to the low-80s in the cloud-shaded areas mainly east of Huntsville.
Rainfall potential is meager: less than 1/2” east of Huntsville Sunday into Monday and nothing of significance to the west.
So when will it actually get cooler???
I know. The vast majority wonders when cooler days are coming (there are a few who enjoy the scorching heat, though).
A cold front approaching North Alabama and Tennessee on Friday of next week will stir up some showers and storms through the 21st and 22nd; following that front, we see more ‘seasonable’ weather (meaning it feels like September and not late July) through the end of the month.
You see the projected surface map for next Friday morning here with a front in Missouri headed southbound. It will be a slow-mover: probably not getting all the way through until late Saturday or Sunday.
Behind it, temperatures drop about 10ºF to 15ºF across the board meaning highs in the 70s/80s and lows in the 50s/60s.
Longer-term projections show a positive Fall-like trend through early October, but look out for a few hotter-than-average days now and then. We still might have another 90-degree day or two in October in Huntsville, but the 90s should be finished for the rural and especially mountainous areas of Northeast Alabama and Tennessee by the first day of Fall (next Saturday).