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The storms of summer have begun: what to expect through the weekend

Mike Keller/Warrenton Shelf Cloud on Thursday 8/9/18

Spotty storms Wednesday dropped as much as one inch of rain in some communities while many others barely got a drop. Get used to that! The hit-or-miss variety of ‘scattered’ summertime storms develops on a daily basis through this weekend and next Monday.

Total rainfall projections are a little extreme considering how dry it’s been lately, but Huntsville International’s rainless streak ended at 20 days: 0.01” between 1pm and 2pm. We will get a lot more than that in the next few days. A rainy pattern brings us the rain we’ve been needing and a welcome break from the excessive heat! Expect a back-down in temperatures: highs in the 70s/80s instead of the upper 80s and lower 90s.

How much rain? Projections have varied from as much as 6.5” to as little as 2.5” this week, but the target ‘average’ number for rainfall between now and next Monday is around 3” cumulative.

Wednesday morning’s GFS computer model simulation shows around 2.5″ to nearly 4″ of rainfall. Numbers like this aren’t as precise as they look, but they are a good guide to what’s possible.

Average in this case will probably be the middle of some extremes similar to the varied projections: as little as 1” in a few, isolated spots and as much as 5”+ in a few other isolated areas.

Should you cancel plans? That’s the million dollar question. It’s a million dollar question because there is no ‘right’ answer to be found in the forecast. Our chance of rain is high each day, and if a storm comes up on you at the time you had planned to be outdoors, it will be heavy enough (and dangerous enough with lightning and gusty winds) to cause a delay, send you indoors, or rain you out.

Each day looks similar from Thursday to Monday: unevenly distributed, spotty areas of rain and thunderstorms. Occasionally, we will have larger, more widespread waves of rain that last up to 2-3 hours; after that, we will have periods of 6 hours or more without rain. It’s a very chaotic pattern, and you are risking a rain-out for anything you have planned outside for the upcoming weekend.

Will it get rough?: Be on the lookout for a few severe storms! June isn’t really thought of as ‘severe weather season,’ but we can get some nasty storms with high winds, hail, excessive rainfall and intense lightning this time of year.

Sometimes summertime storms can be the worst ones you will deal with all year long, so be sure you’re in tune with what’s happening around you if you’re outdoors Thursday, Friday, this weekend or next Monday! Read more about what makes summer storms so rough here on WHNT.com!

Track heavy storms with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19!

Looking for the rest of the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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