Cooler Summer Than Normal For the Tennessee Valley – Here’s Why

The Weather Authority

This is time of year we are used to multiple days in a row of 90° temperatures, high humidity, and brutal heat index values. This summer has been far from that. We’ve only seen 90° or higher temperatures ten times in 2021 at Huntsville International Airport. A big heat wave isn’t in the cards for Tennessee Valley. Here are some reasons:

Dominate East Coast Trough

When there is a dominate east coast trough, storms have an easier time forming. Troughs and cold fronts hang around the southeast keeping our temperatures down and rain chances up.

Cold Front Hanging Around – Higher Rain Chances

Strong Ridge On West Coast

Many times when it’s hot our west, it’s cooler in the east. That’s what’s going on now. A strong ridge is baking the west coast. We’ve seen the hottest temperatures on record in the Pacific Northwest, while the Desert Southwest continues to see triple digit heat. While they bake, we remain cooler.

Hot Out West – Cooler In the East

Temperature Outlook – Below Normal

The temperature outlook through July 23 remains below normal. While we could see a little ridging Wednesday and Thursday, the overall pattern isn’t going to change. Look for higher rain chances and ‘warm’ temperatures through most of July. Remember we should be in the lower 90s for daytime highs for mid-July.

Here Is A Look At the Numbers:

These tell the story. Here is a look at the number of 90° days up to July 12 since 2016. It’s amazing that some years we have been above that mark over 40 times! 2012 was brutal! In 2021, it’s the lowest number in several years!

Summary: We still have all of July and August for steamy temperatures. September can be hot, though the humidity backs off by then. We’ll see what happens from here on out!

Ben Smith

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