What is normal for February? What you saw outside today, what we expect tonight, what you’ll see Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: all of that is ‘normal’ for this time of year. It rains, turns colder, warms up, and does it all over again! Expect a colder night: temperatures down in the low-30s with a wind chill between 25ºF and 30ºF by sunrise.
The sky clears and colder air takes over, but it’s not extreme. Wednesday starts in the 30s then warms to the mid-50s underneath a sunny sky in the afternoon. It gets cold again (30s) Wednesday night, and then we’ll hit the low-60s on Valentine’s Day ahead of a chance of some showers for the end of the week.
Big rain ahead? The first 11 days of February were unusually dry for the Huntsville area: only 0.3” of rainfall. Most of North Alabama got at least 0.75” to 1.00” of rain Tuesday, and there’s more rain coming before the week is finished.
Light rain develops late Thursday night and Friday, but we see potential for another wave of ‘good’ rainfall (around 1/4” to 1/2”) Friday night into Saturday morning.
Forecast model guidance is coming into line with some of the larger-scale signals we look at to forecast wet and stormy patterns in the longer-range; that guidance is suggesting a prolonged period of rainfall next week that could add up to more than 3-5 inches in all. Severe weather seems unlikely, but it does look very wet early next week.
February warmth: The first 11 days of February 2019 make up the fifth-warmest start to the month on record with an average daily temperature at 54.5ºF (10.9ºF above average). The warmest on record was 1957: 58.7ºF average temperature (14.3ºF above average)!
It’s worth noting that it did not snow in the winter of 1957; however, Auburn did win the National Championship in college football that year.
It probably doesn’t mean it’ll happen this year, but who knows! Stranger things have happened!
Weekend outlook: You’ll notice some changes in the forecast for the weekend: not quite as chilly, slightly wetter. We still expect less-than-warm conditions for Saturday and Sunday, but now it looks like it’s more seasonable kind of cool than anything: highs in the 50s, lows in the 40s with some rain early Saturday and again late Sunday.