Very warm with scattered storms through the rest of the week
Spring technically begins on Thursday, but the weather is already springing into the season. Tuesday’s highest temperature in Huntsville hit 73ºF; Muscle Shoals got up to 74ºF. As warm as that is, it’s not even close to the records (they’re up in the mid-80s).
It would not be shocking to see the first 80-degree readings of the season this week. Expect mid-70s on Wednesday and upper 70s on Thursday; a strong cold front moves in on Friday bringing a threat of some storms and a sharp cold snap for the weekend.
Wednesday’s breezy, warm weather leads to a few spotty showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. The odds of any one spot in North Alabama/Southern Tennessee getting measurable rain stand at about 30 percent; here’s the catch: individual storms can get heavy! A few of them could have some small hail and/or gusty winds over 40 miles per hour.
Spring begins on Thursday!
The Vernal Equinox occurs on Thursday at 10:50 PM CDT; that’s when the astronomical Spring season begins.
“Equinox” actually comes from two Latin words meaning “equal nights.” That’s at the Equator, though.
Huntsville has already had the “equinox” in that respect: Monday! We had exactly twelve hours from sunrise to sunset on March 16th; we will have already gained about seven minutes of daylight (12 hours, seven minutes) on the equinox itself. Day length increases about two minutes and eleven seconds each day through the end of the month. The sun rises at 6:33 AM and sets at 7:07 PM on March 31st!
Want to know when “equal nights” happens for your location? Check out this link to TimeandDate.com and replace “Huntsville” for your town!
Friday’s front brings widespread rain & storms
A warm, humid air mass moving north into the Tennessee Valley Wednesday and Thursday pushes temperatures into territory we’ve not seen since last Fall. Huntsville last 80-degree day was October 11th: 158 days ago.
This kind of warmth may ‘feel’ a little stormy to you; if it does, your senses are telling you the truth! A strong cold front plows into this warm, muggy air late Thursday night into Friday morning bringing widespread rain and storms to the South.
The strongest storms likely end up west of Alabama in Mississippi and West Tennessee late Thursday night. Their eventual strength in Alabama and Middle Tennessee is questionable. There is certainly some potential for severe storms; however, the threat is not a sure thing just yet. In other words, it’s something to be aware of but nothing to ‘worry’ about as of now.
Cooler for the weekend, more rain Sunday
The air behind Friday’s front won’t be brutally cold; we are likely finished with any threats of widespread freezing temperatures. There’s a big however to that statement, though! Huntsville is probably finished (75% certainty it won’t drop below 32ºF again this season at Huntsville International Airport).
Fort Payne? Russellville? Winchester? Fayetteville? Meridianville? Yep. The usual cold spots are what we’d worry about for an additional frost in the next 30 days. Don’t plant anything yet that you couldn’t protect from a sneaky Spring freeze! The average last freeze comes around March 30th at the earliest to April 15th at the latest.
The weekend won’t bring freezes, but it will be chilly in the mornings and cool in the afternoons: lows in the 40s, highs in the 50s.
Rain is more likely Sunday than Saturday. Showers end very early Saturday morning, and most of the day will be dry.
Sunday, on the other hand, looks rather wet. Showers are likely from midday through Sunday evening. Some of the rain could get heavy at times, so expect a healthy soaking rain that could total up more than 1-2 inches in all through Sunday night.