Ever hear of Meteorological Fall? In meteorology, we divide the seasons by the months that usually correspond with seasonal weather shifts as opposed to the astronomical divisions that depend on the relative Sun-Earth position. The first day of September often feels like Fall up north, but around the South, we’re not quite that lucky!
Huntsville recorded 33 days of 90-degree-plus heat through Thursday, September 2nd. That’s less than half of the normal count of days with a high at or above 90°F!
Our average final 90-degree temperature of the calendar year averages out over the last 30 years to be September 17th.
The latest 90-degree day on record? That was October 19, 2016, and two years have passed since that incredibly hot start to October 2019 when we hit 99°, 100°, 100°, 95° and 97° on the first five days of the month!
So what about this year?
Are we finished with the 90-degree heat in 2021? History would say ‘probably not.’ Medium-to-long range forecast guidance also comes in with a ‘probably not.’
Even though the seven day forecast shows highs below 90°F through Tuesday, it’s awfully close. It would not take much to squeak out a brief measurement of 90°F on Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday. Beyond Tuesday, a stronger cold front blows in with a really nice cool down for the end of next week. It looks like 50s for lows and 70s for highs by next Thursday and Friday!
What about the next two weeks?
Let’s look at it terms of ‘average’ for early September.
The climatological average high drops from 90°F on the 1st to 82°F by the 30th. So what we see for the next week is pretty ‘average’ September weather. In the 6-to-10 and 8-to-14 day outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, we can see potential for some cooler days and a few hotter days, too. Remember, ‘above average’ in the context of these images means literally at least one degree higher than the posted value, so there’s a good chance we’ll be at least 87°F+ on several days between the 10th and 16th.
Past that, most of our longer-range guidance suggests at least a hand full of hotter days (probably near or above 90°F) through the 25th; with limited rainfall in that time frame, it’s likely that we’ll have a few 90-degree days right up to the end of the month before substantially cooler weather begins to take over in October.