Two one-hundredths of an inch of rain. That’s all Huntsville International Airport measured on Sunday night. Only one November has been drier than this to date. Huntsville had 0.01” in the first 23 days of November 1916; this year we have 0.08” of rain. Things are changing, and the November weather you expect is the November weather we will have for the final week of the month.
Quiet Novembers like this are uncommon to say the least. November is the secondary peak of severe weather season in Alabama and Tennessee.
It’s also usually the fourth-wettest month of the calendar year.
The weather pattern makes up for lost time in the final week of the month with three cold fronts coming: Wednesday, Friday/Saturday and Sunday/Monday.
The first front coming Wednesday brings a limited but real risk of a few severe storms, a lot of blustery, gusty wind even with no storms, and at least some measurable rainfall.
There’s just enough instability and wind shear to believe some damaging wind gusts could develop in storms on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Timing and exact placement are still to-be-determined; just be aware that you need to be on guard late Wednesday for any storms that could turn nasty on us.
Where’s the chill?
Beyond the midweek storms and some rainy weather over the upcoming weekend, there is some bona-fide colder air in the picture starting next Monday.
The mid-range outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is one that favors colder-than-average weather from Sunday through the first week of December.
Those maps don’t tell you much about how cold it could get, so let’s have some fun looking at extremes!
Forecast modeling is worthless in this time period right now. We have on one hand the American-run GFS pushing over a foot of snow (seriously…don’t buy this kind of thing if you see it on social media).
It would supposedly come from a slow-moving ‘cold core’ upper-air low: one that manufactures cold air and precipitation. Scenarios like this have happened before, but they’re rare and certainly not something you can forecast with great skill 24 hours in advance let alone 189 to 210 hours in advance!
On the other hand, we have the European guidance which is having none of it.
It brings chilly weather but not excessive cold or record-shattering snowfall:
As is usual, the answer is probably NO SNOW and something closer to what the Euro poses for temperatures (about 5ºF to 10ºF below average) from November 30th through the first full week of December.
Sometimes those ‘freak’ snowstorms happen. December, 8 2017 is one of the more recent Alabama events. There was another one in December of 1997 that had some similarities (but still a very different kind of storm).
So don’t get too excited about the crazy-town stuff some of these longer-range models show. They’re not likely handling the pattern transition well, and when that happens, you can usually toss those kinds of ideas in the trash.