Never heard of an illegal shower before? You never knew the late J.B. Elliott, then. He is an Alabama weather legend from the Birmingham area, and I had the pleasure of his friendship for many years before he passed in 2015. He always had a special way of saying things, and one of my favorites was the ‘illegal shower.’ That’s a quick downpour that develops on a day when you’ve forecast no rain. It’s breaking the rules, right? Might as well flag it!
This was the result:
And one of my personal favorites…from ‘Preacher’ in Union Grove:
The weather has ways of keeping us meteorologists humble. It’s easy to reanalyze and figure out why something happened in the past; it’s a lot harder to know precise details about the future. So, when I forecast a 0% chance of rain on Tuesday, and the showers showed up anyway, I had to go back and figure out why.
Turns out, we had just enough instability and were just far enough outside the influence of a ridge west of us. That allowed a few spotty showers to develop. Ridges suppress (but don’t always 100% eradicate) spotty showers.
If you’re not able to admit mistakes, you’ll never learn a thing in life.
By the way, this is a perfect opportunity to explain how Live Alert 19 can help fill in the gaps on days like this! While 99% of us got nothing, if you were the one in the path of the showers, you would have gotten an alert letting you know that rain was in the area. Live Alert has been newly updated with better, faster alerts and a lot more features!