Hottest of 2021 followed by cooler air soon

Weather

It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s normally the hottest period of the year, and it’s working out to that tune for the rest of the week. Huntsville’s hottest day so far was Monday: 94°F. We expect to surpass that several times this week alone!

A strong ridge west of Alabama and Tennessee expands eastward on Wednesday and Thursday: squeezing down on any storms that try to develop in the afternoons and allowing temperatures to soar upward to the middle and upper 90s.

Slightly – ever so slightly – drier air comes in on a north wind through midweek, and that may keep the heat index below ‘excessive heat’ levels (110°F+) as air temperatures rise into the 95°F to 99°F range in the afternoons.

Some relief? A weak cool front moves in Saturday raising the odds of scattered storms. It stalls over the region this weekend, and another push of substantially cooler driven south by a more active jet stream enhances the storminess along the boundary Sunday into Monday.

After that, we’ll get a little break from this hot, sticky weather with a decent temperature drop (about 4 to 8 degrees below average) and a larger humidity drop early next week.

Don’t buy the hype!

Cold fronts in August are a real thing. They do happen, and sometimes it gets downright refreshing!

Cold fronts in the first week of August that drop temperatures to the 70s for highs and 50s for lows? That’s very, very uncommon.

In fact, Huntsville’s records date back to 1907, and the high temperature has failed to reach 80°F only eight times in the seven days of August.

  • In 1984, August 1st and 2nd had highs of 76° and 78° respectively: both days with substantial rainfall and high humidity. The feature causing the cooler weather was an upper-air low similar to but not exactly like next week’s pattern.
  • In 1993, August 6th’s high was 73°, but Huntsville had 1.45″ of rain.
  • In 1974, August 7th was 78° with a small amount of rain recorded.
  • In 1950, August 4th was 78° and dry: the morning low at 55°F for a total of nearly 15 degrees below average!
  • In 1948, August 5th was 76° and dry: morning low at 59° for a nearly 14-degree below-average day.
  • In 1938, August 1st was 77° with rain.
  • In 1936, August 1st was 75° with rain.

You get the picture here: usually cooler early August days come with a side of soaking rain.

Out of all of the first weeks of August on record, two of them had truly cool, dry air keeping highs in the 70s.

It’s rare. It’s unusual. It’s possible, but it seems rather unlikely we’ll end up quite that cool next week! The kind of ‘chill’ advertised by Tuesday morning’s GFS model guidance would be the stuff of legends: cool weather unfelt since Huntsville was a city of about 16,000 people back in late 40s/early 50s! We’re about 196,000 strong and growing now, so things have changed a bit since last time it got that cool in early August.

Looking for the rest of the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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