This is an absolutely perfect example of a summertime ‘chance’ of rain. Douglas Rogers shot this photo of a small thunderstorm over Morgan County Tuesday evening; it was about 4 miles south of the Tennessee River near Priceville at the time of the snapshot:
Note the space around that downpour in which there is blue sky and dry ground. That’s what an isolated thunderstorm looks like!
Another storm produced some incredible lightning in Florence Tuesday evening:
This is the name of the game in summer.
August, September and October make up the ‘dry season’ in the Tennessee Valley region; we average only 10.92” of rain over those three months. For comparison, the wettest consecutive two-month period – November and December – averages 10.71” of rainfall.
So it’s perfectly normal to be dry and dusty this time of year; it’s also perfectly normal to see daily downpours that soak some and leave others bone dry. Summertime thunderstorms don’t bring the evenly-spread rainfall that other times of year deliver.
The dryness is also what tends to make it hotter this time of year. Dry ground tends to heat up quickly and more effectively than wet ground, so the drier it gets, the better chance we have to going over 90ºF on a daily basis.
Short-term outlook: The weather story isn’t changing much for Wednesday: a weak cool front still hanging around North Alabama and Southern Tennessee meaning a good chance of showers ‘in the area’ but a so-so chance of it actually raining on you.
Clouds and a muggier air mass mean warmer nights and steamy days; we won’t hit the mid-90s Wednesday, but it will still be hot enough with highs in the middle and upper 80s and some spotty downpours in the area. Remember, those individual downpours can bring a lot of rain to isolated spots! A single thunderstorm can drop more than an inch of rain over a small area the size of a neighborhood while others communities are completely left out staying dusty and dry.