More rain needed, and more rain is expected this week!

The Weather Authority

We need some serious rain to break out of the drought. Monday’s rain helped, but one good round of rain can’t ‘end’ a drought!

According to Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy’s Palmer Drought Index, most of Northeast Alabama (zones 2 and 4 on this map) need around 10-12 inches of rain to end the drought.

It might not take that much rain, though. If we can find ourselves in a pattern of around 1-2 inches of rain per week soon, that would go a long way in easing or even erasing the drought conditions.

Monday’s rain helped, but another round of significant rainfall deals another blow to the drought by the end of the week. It may not be enough to do away with the drought completely, but we’re headed the right direction!

Total rainfall Monday and Monday night was big time in a few places; others got just enough to measure. Woodville got the most of any reporting station in North Alabama: 2.11 inches! Estillfork just north of Woodville in Jackson County had 1.80 inches, and most other reports from North Alabama hit the expected range: from as little as a 0.28″ at Fort Payne’s Isbell Field Airport to around one inch in the Huntsville area.

So how much rain? What kind of impact will it have? When does it get here, and will it ruin football this week?

All good questions and the answers are becoming clearer.

A slow-moving ‘trough’ (a southward dip in the jet stream) heads this way from Thursday to Sunday: coming in from the Southwest US and drawing up a lot of Gulf of Mexico moisture ahead of it.

The forecast is, let’s just call it, ‘adjustable’ for Friday and the weekend. We still cannot see the precise timing or impact, but some decisions are already being made to move Football Friday to the guaranteed ‘good’ night for football: Thursday.

See for details on football game changes.

There is still considerable disagreement in the medium-range model guidance, and that gives us pause to come down hard on one side or the other (we are talking about the future, and no one has been there yet to report back yet).

The scenario looks like this as of this writing:

(1) Clouds move in Thursday night and showers begin Friday morning.
(2) More widespread rain, and somewhat heavier rain, begins Friday evening and goes through Saturday morning.
(3) Heavy rain shifts east during the day Saturday; however, that eastward shift does not ‘clear’ us from an all-day rain. The position of this heavier band of rain is still very much in doubt.

So what do you do with this information? Plan for rain Friday and Saturday. Outdoor events should be preparing to move inside or postpone once we have a better handle on the timing and location.

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

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