Fifteen days with no substantial rainfall in May: it’s not unheard of, but it certainly isn’t the ‘norm’ for what is historically the third-wettest month of the calendar year in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee.
Huntsville’s last measurable rain in the ‘significant’ territory (more than 0.25″ in 24 hours) was on May 9th: 1.54 inches. Since then, we’ve only had 0.07″ in all!
A very dry, hot weather pattern in place has kept the rain away lately.
That should change later this week: for most of us.
That ridge blocking the jet stream’s influence breaks down, and that opens up the possibility of two things that lead to more rain: higher humidity and some ‘muscle’ (dynamics) to create upward motion with disturbances passing overhead.
So what’s the real expectation with the rain?
A number and a picture of a storm on a weather forecast graphic or your app can’t tell you everything you need to know about what is expected.
First of all, we’re in that time of year. A 20% chance of a downpour means something different in late spring and summer than it does in say February or March. A 20% chance of rain/storms in the summer usually means we’re confident that some heavy storms develop, but we don’t have high confidence that a lot of us get to experience the downpours from them.
In other words, it does rain around the area, but it doesn’t rain everywhere. The places that get the downpour can end up with a lot of rain in a short time, too!
Take Friday’s 50% chance of rain for example. That’s a statement of higher confidence in locally heavy storms and greater coverage (more of us getting decent rainfall).
The bottom line…
Expect some storms later this week. We will have some here and there on Wednesday and Thursday; Friday looks like the day when it’s more likely that widespread downpours occur.
If you’re planning outdoor activities any afternoon this week (Wednesday-Friday), be alert. Lightning, heavy rain and gusty winds for 30 to 60 minutes can ruin your plans if you’re not aware they’re coming!
Also, if you have hay on the ground, it’s probably best to have it up by Wednesday midday if possible. These summertime storms can set you back a day or two of drying if they get your field at just the right time.
Track rain and storms with WHNT.com’s Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19! You can also get up-to-date, location-based alerts wherever you are on Live Alert 19. Download it today for iOS and Android.