Thursday Afternoon, August 13, 2020
Meteorologist Christina Edwards

Storms firing up this afternoon, but cooler air arrives next week

Heavy rain showers and thunderstorms are firing up across the Southeast, including Mississippi, south Alabama and middle Tennessee.

North Alabama is clear of thunderstorm activity as of 1pm, however we anticipate storms to bubble up as the heat and humidity of the day continue to take place.

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Outside of the rain and cloud cover, it will be sizzling hot once again! Both Huntsville and Muscle Shoals airports recorded 90 degree temperatures as of 1pm, and we anticipate Thursday afternoon highs to climb to the low 90s through the early evening hours.

How much rain will we get?

An additional disturbance brings more scattered storms across the area Thursday-Saturday. There’s not a definite answer to the “how much” question because this disturbance will bring storms that are uneven across the region. Some have already had more than two inches of rain this week; some have had zero. Over-all, rainfall looks to come in around one inch on average: some spots getting more than three inches, some getting less than one inch cumulative through the weekend. Exactly who gets the most is not something we can predict, but a few spots climbing over 3 inches for the week seems likely.

Weekend outlook

A weak upper-air low sets up over Alabama and Tennessee for the end of this week; that keeps temperatures lower and the coverage of daily showers and storms a little higher. Humidity stays high, though, so it’s still going to be toasty and sticky in the days ahead!

The weekend looks wetter on Saturday compared to Sunday; it also looks cooler on Saturday than Sunday because of the difference in hours of sunshine.

That upper-air low hangs around on Saturday stirring up a lot of hit-or-miss, unevenly-spread thunderstorms, but as it departs on Sunday the chance of rain falls to about 20-30%. You can still get soaked with a big storm in a 20-30% situation; they just won’t be quite as numerous or widespread.

A legitimate cool down coming soon?

We’re going to see some relief from the typical August heat for the next couple of weeks. The Climate Prediction Center has noted they have a high confidence temperatures will be below average next week.

Temperatures below average for much of the Eastern U.S. next week

Now, this map can be tricky to interpret at first glance. It does NOT suggest how cold things are going to get, only the confidence that the temperatures for that 5 day period will be below average. The darker the blue, the higher the confidence. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the darker blues are colder than the lighter blues. It also doesn’t rule out one or two days being hot, just than when you average things out it will be cooler than the average for that time period. So what is average?

In August, the average high temperature is usually in the low 90s, and the average low temperature is in the upper 60s or low 70s.

At the end of this week into next week, the forecast calls for daytime highs in the upper 80s and morning lows in the low to mid 60s. It will still be warm, but it won’t be quite as oppressively hot and humid in the afternoon.

Lower humidity is also on the way, which will make for some downright comfortable nighttime weather next week.

TENNESSEE VALLEY FORECAST

THIS EVENING: Partly to mostly cloudy, hot and humid with another chance of the scattered, locally-heavy, unevenly-spread storms. Temperatures holding steady in the low 80s near the rain, upper 80s in the sunshine. WIND: Variable 5-15.

TONIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy, warm and humid. A few scattered showers or storms possible. Overnight lows in the lower 70s. Wind: SE 3-5.

FRIDAY: Some areas of morning fog, otherwise mostly cloudy in the morning. Partly to mostly cloudy with afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid to upper 80s. Wind: SSW 7-12.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy, warm and humid. A few scattered showers or storms possible. Lows in the lower 70s. Wind: SW 2-5.

SATURDAY: Partly to mostly cloudy with isolated afternoon storms. Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s. Wind: NW 7-12.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, warm and humid. Overnight lows in the upper 60s to low 70s. Wind: NW 3-5.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy with isolated afternoon storms. Highs in the lower 90s. Wind: NW 7-12.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy and hot with a few isolated afternoon downpours. Highs in the upper 80s and low 90s. Wind: N 10-15.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy, not as hot with highs in the upper 80s. Drying out. Wind: WNW 7-12.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy, dry and pleasant. Highs in the upper 80s. Wind: NW 7-12.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy, dry and pleasant. Highs in the upper 80s. Wind: NW 7-12.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy, hot and dry. Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s. Wind: S 5-10.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy, hot and dry. Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s. Wind: S 5-10.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy, a few isolated storms possible. Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s. Wind: S 5-10.