So far the month of May has been on the mild side for our region, with highs ranging from the 80s to just below 80 degrees. The average temperature for the month so far is 69.7 degrees which is 1.3 degrees above normal for the time period of May 1-9. Comparing this to this time last year, we are 5.2 degrees warmer. The warm temperatures are forecast to continue for not only the Tennessee Valley but for the majority of the south. So why are we seeing an extended period of warm weather?

A large area of high pressure has set up across the majority of the continental United States, creating a ridge in the jet stream. This is leading to an increased flow of both warm air and moisture into the region. With a continuation of warm air advection, temperatures will continue to rise to nearly 90 degrees by Wednesday and then fall back into the 80s by late week. Across portions of the Northwest, an area of low pressure is creating a trough in the jetstream leading to cooler temperatures.

What Is The UV Index?

Futurecast Dew Point

This pressure system is not just leading to warming temperatures for the Tennessee Valley but also an increase in humidity. As the plume of warm air shifts east, it brings with it some moisture. This moisture plume will lead to increase humidity for Wednesday, with some areas feeling a bit uncomfortable. If you have any outdoor plans throughout the week, make sure to stay hydrated and apply plenty of sunscreen.

Long Term Forecast

As we head into mid-May, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-average temperatures. The above photos show that North Alabama has a 50 to 70 percent chance of seeing above-average temperatures between May 16-24.

The average high temperature during the 6-10 day outlook (May 16-20) is 83 degrees and the average high temperature during the 8-14 day outlook (May 18-24) is 83.5 degrees. These two maps show that during these time periods we have a 50 to 70 percent chance to see temperatures at or above 83 degrees.

Active April Across The Nation

The warmest and driest air through this time period will be across portions of the Deep South and the Southwest. In these regions, there is more than a 70 percent chance of temperatures reaching above average. This warm air combined with extreme drought conditions will just enhance the risk for wildfires. Thankfully here in the Tennessee Valley, although it looks to be primarily dry, we still have a chance to see isolated shower activity.