‘Locally-heavy’ describes how scattered storms work through Friday and the weekend. On Wednesday afternoon, a rain gauge Lacey’s Spring measured 4.31″ of rain. Huntsville International only got 0.04″ only about eight miles away.
That kind of rainfall difference may seem crazy, but it’s life in the summertime in Alabama and Tennessee. More often than not, intense storms like these drop tremendous rain, kick up the wind, and produce a lot of lightning in a few relatively small (geographic) areas and leave many others high and dry.
Expect more of the same for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s unlikely that we get another 4-5″ downpour in a single spot, but the unevenly-scattered nature of the storms through the weekend will keep you on your toes: especially if you’re trying to manage outdoor plans. The key word in planning for the weekend is ‘flexible.’ Be ready to dodge storms in the area; however, do not expect an all-day rain out.
Beyond the weekend, Tropical (expected-to-be) Storm Fred will have some influence on the weather around here: likely keeping the heat down some and enhancing the daily dose of scattered downpours.
Tropical Depression Fred & the Gulf Coast
The National Hurricane Center outlines Tropical Depression Fred’s future as coming between Cuba and Florida on Saturday and then moving north-northwest toward the Florida Panhandle by Sunday night/Monday.
‘Fred’ gets better organization and intensifies some moving northbound across the eastern Gulf on Sunday; it likely comes inland on the shores of Northwest Florida Monday and then moves north into southeast Alabama and western Georgia. The storm will churn up the surf for the beaches of Alabama and Northwest Florida through the weekend, so be aware of a higher-than-usual rip current and rough surf threat if you are beach-bound.
Tropical moisture pushed northward with Fred leaves us warm and muggy with more daily showers and thunderstorms.
It may be counterintuitive to think that we could cool down some with a truly tropical air mass moving into the region, but that air is often less extreme than air sitting over the dry continental areas in the summertime. It’s not ‘cool,’ but it does keep the heat a little more reasonable!