Slim chance of rain ahead in a rather dry May so far!


If it weren’t for last Friday’s 0.86″ of rain, Huntsville would have gone almost two weeks with no measurable rainfall. That’s until we picked up 0.05″ early Wednesday morning (grand total of 0.91″ for the month, 1.34″ below average).

You may not think much of it now; it’s a welcome break from that excessively wet seven-month stretch since October that has given us rainfall like this:

  • 75.00″ in Lacey’s Spring (that’s 1.42″ higher than Huntsville’s largest annual rainfall on record)
  • 73.83″ in Sewanee, Tennessee
  • 68.50″ in Scottsboro
  • 64.18″ in Brownsboro
  • 63.87″ in Florence
  • 62.95″ in Boaz
  • 61.56″ in Tuscumbia
  • 61.45″ in Fayetteville
  • 59.28″ in Moulton
  • 58.78″ at St. Bernard (Cullman)
  • 58.43″ in Russellville
  • 54.89″ at Huntsville International (0.55″ higher than an average for twelve months)

That’a a LOT of water.

So May has been dry. That’s not such a bad thing because we needed an opportunity to dry out some, but we’re now in the time of year that missing a week or two of rainfall can be problematic for agriculture – and for your lawn and home garden.

If you’re looking for rain, the prospects are slim in Alabama and Tennessee for the next week.

Some rain? Yes. Enough rain? Probably not. It’s likely that you’ll have to do some irrigation to keep grass green, gardens growing, etc. through the next 7 to 14 days around most of the region.

WPC/NOAA projected rainfall through next Wednesday, May 20th (quite probably underestimated in Alabama, but still a rather dry pattern will exist)

There’s always an exception, though. We believe there’s a better chance of some scattered storms on Sunday and Monday than pictured here. Coverage will be uneven, so the ‘chance’ remains in the 20-40% range in the Tennessee Valley region; however, we do expect some rain to fall late in the weekend into the first part of next week.

Does it mean drought?

Far from it.

Here’s a quote from Alabama’s State Climatologist Dr. John Christy that we reference often:

“Our hydrologic cycle is much faster than elsewhere in the country.  Our ecosystem is like an F-15 fighter jet – fast but with a small fuel tank.  In the Midwest with their deep water-holding soils, they are like a long-haul cargo plane, slow but with a big fuel tank.  The F-15 will run out of gas in a hurry and crash – just like our shallow-rooted vegetation.”


The seasonal drought outlook looks fine for most of Alabama and Tennessee: no significant, prolonged droughts expected.

That doesn’t mean we won’t have a dry spell now and then, though!

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

Connect with me!
Twitter (@simpsonwhnt)

Trending Stories

Click Here To Send Us Your Photo