Soggy start to 2020: How does January's rainfall compare to other years?

The Weather Authority

The first two weeks of 2020 are officially in the books, and it’s safe to say that it’s been abnormally wet around north Alabama.

It has rained 11 of the past 16 days, and our month to date rainfall at the Huntsville International Airport is 6.61″, which is more than 4 inches over the monthly average.

The Northwest Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals rain gauges have registered 5.97″ of rainfall, which is nearly 4 inches over the monthly average.

To put all of this rain into perspective:
  • January 1 – January 16 2020 rainfall is tied for the fourth wettest of all time (first place was 1946 with 7.44″ of rain)
  • It’s only been two weeks but January 2020 is already lining up as the 25th wettest January on record, and we still have half a month to go
  • More rain is on the way for Friday night/Saturday afternoon (click here to read the WHNT News 19 Weather Authority forecast)

All of this rain can have an impact on soil moisture content. The wetter the soils, the more difficult it will be for root structures in large trees to keep the tree anchored. As a result, winds that are well below severe limits have the potential to knock down trees if the soil moisture is overly saturated.

In addition, local streams, tributaries, and ground water tables are more full than normal, which means flash flooding is possible whenever a prolonged rain event is in the forecast. Be sure to review flash flood safety, and never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway.

Thankfully after Saturday, we get a chance to dry out with cooler and drier air ahead!

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