Drought, heat stressing the landscape now, but there’s hope of some real ‘Fall’ in the distance

Data pix.

Muscle Shoals broke a record high Friday hitting 97ºF at Northwest Alabama Regional Airport.  It was the 29th-straight day of 90ºF+ heat in The Shoals, and Huntsville's 95ºF made it the 92nd day of 90-degree heat this season.  Some scattered heavy storms managed to blow up Friday evening in Northeast Alabama:

Locally-heavy storms dropped heavy rain through Friday evening

The weekend looks excessively hot just like this week has been, and there's no sign of cooler weather in the immediate future.  Expect highs in the 90s, lows in the 60s/70s, and just the slightest hint of a chance of some isolated, spotty, few-and-far-between showers on Saturday.  Sunday looks totally dry thanks to a strong, sprawling 'ridge' over the region.  A ridge is something like a bubble of hot air that actually causes subsidence (a sinking motion from the middle of the atmosphere to the surface); these features do two things: keeping it hot and keeping it dry.

There is an end in sight:  The prolonged hot summer of 2019 mercifully morphs into Fall in early October, but we likely break several record highs before the 'cool down' finally begins around or after October Fifth.

These are the records, and all of them could be tied or broken through next Friday, October 4th:

So what kind of relief will this be?  To give you perspective, we won't be getting 'chilly' anytime soon, but there will be enough of a break in the pattern to at least make it feel like 'average' weather for early October.  The 'average' high on October 5th is 78.1ºF.  The average low on that date is 54.8ºF in Huntsville.  That's not chilly, but at least its bearable and will help on the energy bills a little!

As far as rain goes, there's not much to be found.  We need about 9" to 10" of rain to 'end' the drought; if we're lucky, we'll see some isolated showers.  That's not going to dent this developing, intensifying drought.

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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