A wet-at-times weekend ahead
Expect more scattered, hit-or-miss storms over the weekend.
Those who got hit on Friday got it hard, too! Heavy rainfall led to flash flooding around The Shoals and Decatur. The biggest downpours dropped 2-5″ of rain in less than 2 hours, and we’ll do it again (in different, spotty areas) Saturday and Sunday.
The chance of rain is better than usual for mid-August; we are usually already in a downward thunderstorm trend for the season by now. Lightning occurrence in North Alabama on-average drops by half from the peak around July 15th to August 15th, yet we find ourselves in the same pattern that persisted all summer to this point: daily storms, high humidity, and no real change in sight.
The best advice for planning outdoor events – or trying to attend them – in weather like this is to be flexible. Don’t let the probability of a thunderstorm keep you home for no reason. Be flexible, be aware, and be ready to move indoors if a heavy storm approaches; it will not rain all day either Saturday or Sunday!
Look for about 1-2 hours of rain at most; the catch is that a tremendous rainfall can happen in that 60+ minutes: up to 2 inches in spots, many others with nothing at all. A weak cool front in the region triggers the storms, but that front does not cool us down much at all (nor does it drop the humidity).
It stays hot and humid: heat index in the upper 90s to low-100s both days.
A good chance of daily downpours through next week
The hot, humid air sticking around and the addition of tropical moisture from what should be Tropical Storm Fred’s approach next week keeps the daily downpours going. Some of us could have upwards of 5-6″ of rain in the next seven days; many will only have 1-2 inches, and a few spots may be left with very little.
Tropical air is not quite as hot as the more continental air we’ve had lately, so temperatures drop a bit (80s for highs) in the daytime. It stays muggy and warm at night: lows in the 60s/70s.
And the pattern continues…
Longer-term ideas from the Climate Prediction Center through late August suggest wetter-than-usual weather lasts through the end of August.
A large part of this expectation is the potential for more tropical influence through the end of the month.