Closings & Delays across the Tennessee Valley

Alabama Develops Rainfall Surplus

The dry conditions that developed earlier this season have been effectively washed away by November’s rainfall! Not only is the Tennessee Valley no longer under drought conditions, we actually have a solid rainfall surplus.

Huntsville and Muscle Shoals have both received about double the amount of rain that is average for the month of November. If we look at the 30 day rainfall percentages, you can see that surplus isn’t just for some; it’s reflected evenly over the entire Tennessee Valley.

November’s rain has helped us catch up to yearly totals too. While we’re slightly above average for the timeframe “January 1st-November 18th”, but we’re pretty close to being on track for the entire year.

This puts us in the “just right” category for rainfall: we’re neither too dry nor too saturated. That’s easier to see with the Palmer Drought Index, which gives a better idea of how saturated soils are. We’re currently in the mid range, which is a good place to be! We could continue to see our normal rain patterns through December and end the year with healthy soils and water systems. To check in on rain chances you can always find the forecast on our discussion page!

The difference two year’s worth of rain can make: It was exactly two years ago that the Tennessee Valley reached the peak of the 2016 drought. The entire state was experiencing moderate drought and over a quarter of the state was under exceptional drought, which is the highest drought level

Huntsville ended 2016 with just over 44 inches of rain, which was 10 inches below normal. Since then Huntsville has picked up about 100 inches of rain. If we apply 100 inches of rain to the entire state of Alabama, that’s close to 91 trillion gallons of water over the course of two years!