The summer season in the Tennessee Valley can best be described as warm and dry. The climatological summer season includes the months of June, July and August.
Most locations will end this season off with a deficit of rain and abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions. Above is a look at the average temperatures and total rainfall for some locations in North Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee. While the majority of the areas have experienced one of the driest summers on record, Fayetteville has actually seen a good amount of rain. For Huntsville specifically, this summer was the fifth driest on record with a total of 6.15 inches. The driest summer was recorded in 1902 when Huntsville only saw 3.79 inches.
When we take a look at temperatures, it has certainly been a hot and humid summer but it has not been the hottest on record. When looking at the average temperature, combining the low and highs, most experienced their seventh warmest on record. For Huntsville specifically, with an average temperature of 81.5 degrees, it tied for 4th warmest on record. The highest temperature this summer in Huntsville was 100 degrees while Muscle Shoals reached 102 degrees.
2022 Summer Highlights
Some summer highlights for the Tennessee Valley include the deficit of rain, consecutive 90+ degrees days and an earthquake. The little rain that fell across the area led to drought conditions in northwest Alabama. Portions of Colbert and Lauderdale counties were the driest with most in this area experiencing moderate drought conditions. The next drought monitor update will be released Thursday morning, September 1.
The rain that fell this summer was moderate to even heavy. These torrential downpours were generally associated with storms that were nearly stationary over a location. With the slow movement of these storms and how dry the ground was, flash flooding became a threat to some communities! The heat from late June into July was another big story this summer. Huntsville had a total of 28 consecutive days of 90+ degrees temperatures, which is the 10th most on record. Muscle Shoals just beat Huntsville with a total of 31 consecutive days, tieing the 7th most on record. Though severe storms formed this summer the main threats from them were strong winds and heavy rainfall. There were no tornadoes.
What Can We Expect For The Fall
The official first day of fall is still over 20 days away, but the start of the fall season will be on September 1. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has released its outlooks for this upcoming season. They are predicting the Tennessee Valley will see above-average temperatures this fall and below-average rainfall. The CPC is predicting the area has a 40-50 percent chance of above-average temperatures. When looking at the precipitation outlook, CPC is predicting the area has a 33-40 percent chance of seeing below-average rainfall. Remember, just because above-average temperatures are favored, we can still see cold air. Also, even though drier conditions may be favored, we can still see heavy rain events.
As we head into the fall, the temperatures will gradually cool down. During a normal fall season in the Tennessee Valley, the average temperature ranges from around 60 degrees to 64 degrees. Last year, we didn’t see temperatures dip into the 70s until late September. For Huntsville, the average high temperature for September is 86.5 degrees, October is 76 degrees and November is 64 degrees.
You can count on the Weather Authority to keep you updated throughout the season!