Weekend heat, storms increase next week

Weather

Saturday and Sunday look hot.  Temperatures soar into the 90s with a heat index in the 100°F to 105°F range from noon to 5 PM.  While Saturday looks mostly dry (can’t completely give you a zero percent chance of a brief shower, but it’s low), Sunday could have a couple more thunderstorms. Still, most spots don’t see rain this weekend.

Remember, any storms that develop this time of year can get heavy quickly!  Storms can produce strong wind gusts, torrential rainfall and intense lightning.  Sunday’s storms will be very unevenly-spread: some get a good rain, others get nothing at all.

Next week’s outlook…

The over-all weather pattern shifts toward a better chance of scattered storms each day next week.

A strong ridge over the region this weekend moves away allowing for some jet stream influence in the coming days; that helps stir up more daily thunderstorms because of the weak disturbances passing through the ‘flow.’

Rainfall totals will be very uneven; there’s potential for more than two inches in spots while some other spots don’t see much rain at all.

Better coverage of daily storms does tend to provide a little cool down, though.  It will still be hot, but the heat comes down a few notches with less sunshine, more clouds and more spotty storms.

So how much rain are we talking here?

It’s been a little dry lately. Huntsville International has only recorded 7.12″ of rain since June First; that’s a massive reversal from what the wettest winter and spring seasons on record! Summer rain is in the top 35% or so of driest June-July-August periods on record in Huntsville.

Some have fared worse, and some have fared better:

30-day rainfall percent of normal through August 7, 2020

The outlook from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center is not very ‘bullish’ on rain in North Alabama or Southern Tennessee through next Friday (this is the Friday, August 7th outlook). Some of the medium-range forecast guidance practically doubles this: up to 2-3″ of rain in the modeling.

The difference between the two products (the WPC forecast vs. the computer models) is that modeling does a bad job by often overshooting or ignoring thunderstorms. The WPC outlook factors in storms and gives us a more ‘average’ look at what could happen (takes out the extremes).

Either way, if it’s been too dry at your house lately, there is some hope of wetter weather next week!

Looking for the rest of the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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