First 90 degree day of 2021 recorded Sunday! Heat continues, but where’s the rain?!


Temperatures have been trending up and up all week long, and on Sunday, the Tennessee Valley recorded its first 90 degree afternoon of the year!

The 90+ degree heat was recorded in Huntsville, Muscle Shoals, Decatur, and Gadsen, whereas other areas across North Alabama and South Tennessee registered temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.

The heat and humidity are courtesy of a stubborn ridge of high pressure that has been parked over the Southeast for over a week now. The high is now positioned in such a way that a northerly wind is blowing through the Tennessee Valley — traditionally, a north wind brings some of the hottest temperatures to our region.

The high will be very persistent and slow to fade, which means the hot and dry weather will continue into next week. Temperatures are expected to reach the low 90s through the middle of the week.

Where’s the rain?!

High pressure has been dominating the weather pattern for over a week, keeping the majority of the region dry for 10+ days.

As persistent as this area of high pressure has been, it won’t last forever, and there are some signs in the extended forecast that unsettled weather will move into the Tennessee Valley just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend.

The rain chances will be very limited Wednesday and Thursday as the cold front approaches from the northwest. The front is expected to stall on Friday before weakening, and potentially fizzling out.

However, the better chance of rain arrives Saturday and Sunday, as the remnants of the frontal boundary serves as a forcing mechanism for any showers and storms to fire up over the Southeast.

While it may be a bummer that the rain returns just in time to kick off the unofficial start of summer, the rain is very much needed! The last “appreciable” rainfall (more than 0.1 of an inch) occurred two weeks ago, on May 9th.

– Christina

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