Twenty-eight days: Huntsville International Airport only registered 28 days of 90-degree heat through Tuesday (August 23rd).
For comparison, the number of 90-degree days through August 23rd in Huntsville over the past decade varied a lot!
- 52 in 2020
- 66 in 2019 (that’s the year with the 100s in early October)
- 68 in 2018
- 45 in 2017
- 74 in 2016
- 65 in 2015
- 39 in 2014
- 30 in 2013
- 59 in 2012
- 73 in 2011
By the way, there’s no obvious connection to this and how winter sets up around here!
We have at least two more days in the 90s this week before a weak tropical disturbance cuts down the heat and brings up the scattered storms again.
Tuesday and Wednesday stay hot and mostly dry. The mornings start out warm and muggy with lows around 68ºF to 73ºF and some patchy dense fog: typical of August.
The afternoons get hot: highs around 91ºF to 96ºF with a heat index well above 100ºF. Heat index is not the only way to look at how the heat can be a stress on your body, though. The ‘Wet Bulb Globe Temperature’ on both Tuesday and Wednesday gets into the dangerous range in the hottest period of the day: within a few hours of noon.
Breaking the heat with a ‘breath’ from the tropics
Tropical air is hot air. It’s just not as hot as the air baking Alabama and Tennessee through midweek! We are tracking two weak tropical ‘waves’ that will have some influence – like a breath of air from the Atlantic – later this week.
These waves are undeveloped areas of low pressure; think of them like seedlings for tropical cyclones. Since they are not developed, the weather they bring requires a broad-brushed forecast for more scattered, unevenly-spread, locally-heavy daily thunderstorms.
The surging tropical moisture increases clouds, enhances the chance of rain (especially from midday through early evening), and limits daytime heating somewhat.
So which days offer the best chance of downpours?
Thursday looks best as the first wave approaches, but any given afternoon from Wednesday through next week could be ‘the’ day you get an absolute soaker producing more than 1-2″ of rain within the space of an hour. That includes the chance of some storms around for Football Friday: especially pre-game through the first half.
The weekend does not break the pattern.
It’s more of the same: sticky humidity and a chance of some occasional downpours. Don’t cancel plans; just be flexible, and be prepared to move indoors if a storm approaches.