Today is the nicest day of the week; clouds begin thickening on Thursday, and a round of heavy rain and potentially-severe storms develops for Friday and Saturday.
Rain begins on Friday as light showers in the first half of the day, and it gets heavier and more widespread as the day goes on. Heavier rainfall with some scattered thunderstorms may produce more than 1/2″ to 1″ of rain Friday night, and then more rain comes with some intense storms into Saturday evening. The active weather quiets down on Sunday with a return to some sunshine, but we’ll get another wave of heavy rain Monday and Tuesday.
Severe weather threat for Saturday: There are really two threats in play here: severe storms and flooding. The risk of severe weather comes ahead of a cold front that arrives sometime Saturday. ‘Sometime Saturday’ means the timeline is not set yet, but the general idea is that severe storms are possible from 10 AM to 10 PM.
It will not be stormy for twelve-straight hours; it’s more like a 4-6 hour window within that larger timeframe. (Example: 11 AM to 5 PM – or – 1 PM to 7 PM)
What should you expect Saturday?
- Strong, gusty winds outside of the risk of severe weather: 40 mph+ gusts possible even with no storms in the area.
- Heavy rainfall: more than 2-3″ are possible.
- Severe storms could produce intense wind gusts (70-80 mph+), hail and tornadoes.
There’s also a risk of some serious flooding.
If it rains *exactly* the forecast amount (WPC 7-day rainfall outlook) at Huntsville International Airport, Huntsville would have its 4th-rainiest January on record less than halfway through the month.
That kind of rain could produce some high water on the Tennessee River and the smaller tributaries (creeks and rivers) as well as smaller waterways in the higher terrain.
The ground is already very wet and soggy from recent rainfall, so even if we don’t realize the full ‘potential’ of this heavy rain spread between Friday and Tuesday, there will likely be reason to watch for some flooding.
Another round of rain and storms? Much of our focus is on the storm system coming in on Saturday; there’s a good reason for that! It’s best to take big-ticket weather systems one at a time.
There is another one that brings rain and some thunderstorms into the forecast again for Monday and Tuesday. Some of that rain could be heavy, so we will continue to be vigilant looking for any threats of severe storms and flash flooding through the middle of next week.