Huntsville and Muscle Shoals set record highs again Friday: the third day in a row (95ºF in Huntsville, 93ºF in Muscle Shoals). We’ll be close to another record on Saturday, but that is it. The nonsense heat wave ends with temperatures dropping slightly on Sunday and plunging on Monday; we also have our best chance of rain since August ahead from Sunday into Monday!
Saturday: Expect highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s Saturday; Huntsville may briefly touch 94ºF to 95ºF, but the heat backs down a bit especially southeast of Huntsville into the higher elevations with a southeast breeze up to 20 miles per hour and a chance of some spotty storms.
Sunday: It won’t rain all day long, but there will be a chance of some rain now and then throughout the day starting in the morning as a few, spotty, hit-or-miss, isolated showers. Sunday’s ‘best’ chance of rain holds off until after sunset; however, if you do have outdoor plans for the afternoon or evening, be aware that there is a chance of some rain especially in Northwest Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee.
Here comes the real rain: It’s been a long time since widespread, everybody-gets-soaked rain has graced the Tennessee Valley region with its presence. That wait is almost over, but you still have two days to go before the good rain gets here. Isolated, spotty showers over the weekend won’t add up to much, but rain moving in Sunday night and Monday morning could get relatively heavy!
One of our computer models (the Baron 15K) shows some very healthy rainfall between now and Monday night!
For comparison (in the same time frame through Monday night/Tuesday morning):
- The European ECMWF guidance shows 1.7″ for Huntsville and 2.4″ for Muscle Shoals.
- The American GFS guidance shows around 1.0″ for Huntsville and 0.9″ for Muscle Shoals.
That’s about 10% of what we need to ‘end’ the drought that is now in the ‘extreme’ category in Northeast Alabama.
It’s going to take a lot more than this, but this is a good starting point.
How much cooler!? The cold front bringing the rain also brings real October weather for a change. Huntsville has been at or above 100ºF five times this year: two of them in October (which is just unheard of). We’ve also been above 90ºF ninety-nine times; Saturday marks the 100th and final day of 90s this calendar year because it’s really going to turn cooler and stay that way!
This doesn’t mean it’s jacket weather every day from here on out, but it will be more tolerable when it’s warm and downright cool at other times.
Monday looks like the coolest day next week. Rain ends by early afternoon. Clouds stick around through the evening. Temperatures? They drop sharply:
So now that the heat wave is ending, is frost in our future? No. Not immediately! Huntsville’s normal first freeze of the year doesn’t come until early November. It would be a break-neck change to go from record heat in early October to an earlier-than-normal frost; that seems unlikely, but there is a chance we could see some lows as cold as the upper 30s and lower 40s within the next two weeks.
Want a sneak peek at that? Before you look, be sure you understand this is model guidance and not our ‘forecast.’ Models help us shape the forecast, but they can be very, very wrong. This particular model has been running very cool (numbers way too low through the heat wave) lately, but we’ll have to see how it performs in more typical circumstances.
Just think about it. That would be a 61ºF drop from the warmest day of October to the coldest so far if we managed to hit 39ºF on October 13th or 14th.