SEVERE STORM WATCH: As the line of showers and storms move across the Valley more counties will be taken out of the watch. It is set to expire at 6 p.m. but the way storms are going we may see it be completely taken down before that.
THURSDAY: Another impulse will bring more showers and storms to the Valley. Timing is not 100% but we will see a cluster of storms move through either during the morning or afternoon. Models did a perfect job Wednesday but with any complex forecasts may need to be tweaked.
4TH OF JULY: We will see some very early morning showers and storms but during the afternoon and evening we should be mainly dry. Only an isolated shower or storm would be possible during the evening events.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch that was in effect until 6 P.M. for all of the Tennessee Valley except for Franklin, Cullman, and Colbert counties has expired.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday afternoon that some storms throughout the night could be strong with gusty winds, and there is also the possibility of heavy rainfall with some localized flooding.
Rain on the Fourth of July? Say it isn't so! Well, over the past four years, the Fourth of July has actually been very inconsistent in terms of what weather is likely to occur. From over 4 inches of rainfall in 2013 to 102 degrees for a high temperature back in 2012, anything goes.
So it only makes sense we have an unsettled weather pattern of rain chances in the forecast to go along with the 2015 Fourth of July year, right? Most of you reading this are thinking, no I want nice, sunny comfortable weather! Not this year, but let's think about this incoming rain as a good thing, because our farmers and those who use our streams, creeks, and lakes really need this rain!
In reality, we do need the rain to get back on track for normal precipitation for this time of year. Are we in a drought? Not quite, as the U.S. Drought Monitor only has us in an Abnormally Dry category on their map, the lowest risk issued usually meaning the area is going into a drought. But if we don't start seeing the rain soon, things could get worse. We certainly don't need a repeat of the 2011-2012 years where Huntsville, Decatur, and Muscle Shoals where at point in a deficit of 15.5 inches of rain!
So when did our deficit begin? The months of March and April 2015 were very rainy as we started off our spring season well above the normal precipitation we usually see for this time of year.
According to the climate records kept by the National Weather Service of Huntsville, in the month of April:
The month of May brought in a rainier forecast for Huntsville who continued to stay on track with above average precipitation totals for the year with a surplus of 1.01 inches. But Muscle Shoals failed to see nearly half as much rain as Huntsville did, and a deficit of .41 of an inch was reported at the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport.
Then drier weather took over for the month of June. According to climate records by the National Weather Service of Huntsville, AL, looking back at the month of June, 2015, we only picked up on 2.38 inches of rain for Huntsville. In comparison:
For Muscle Shoals, the recorded amount of rain picked up for June 2015 was 2.36 inches. In comparison:
Water levels recorded by the USGS even indicate that there's low water supply in Lawrence county from their Real Time Streamflow. The Big Nance Creek in particular is well below average in discharge at 13%. Farmers particularly in Northwest Alabama have been hurting for water. Even residents in western Lauderdale county has been told to reserve water.
So, is the rain needed? Yes, it is.
From Wednesday into Friday, a disturbance from the Central Plains looks to bring in anywhere from 1-2 inches of rain by Friday morning. Rain showers will even persist into this weekend, though they'll be hit or miss showers.
WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: A slow moving disturbance from the Central Plains will cause on and off rain showers to occur for the end of the workweek. A few of these showers could turn into thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon where gusty winds in excess of 40 mph if not greater could occur. Large hail and heavy bursts of rain are likely heading back home from work today.
In total, we could pick up on 1.5-2 inches of rain by Friday morning as the cold front of this system will finally sweep through the Tennessee Valley.
UNSETTLED WEEKEND: It's still looking very unsettled heading into this weekend. A wave of energy will move through on Saturday to give us a chance of isolated showers throughout the day. The chance of rain lessens as we head closer to fireworks time 8:30-9 P.M. as I do believe most of the thunderstorms that occur on Saturday will be triggered by daytime heating.
POSSIBLE LIGHTNING STRIKE TO A HOUSE: We had a few strong thunderstorms pass through eastern Madison County. At the time of the house fire there were plenty of lightning strikes around the house. So it is probable that lightning was the culprit. We will have to wait until the house is investigated for officials to make the cause.
THIS EVENING: We had plenty of storms and showers earlier. There also appears to be no forcing to cause any more showers and storms for the rest of this evening or tonight for that matter.
WEDNESDAY: We will have an impulse come through during the afternoon and early evening. This will probably cause a few showers and storms across the Valley. But again it's another day where there will be plenty of folks who didn't get the rain.
THURSDAY: There will be a surface low along with some mid level energy that could help produce a cluster of showers and storms in eastern KY and TN. This may move into the Valley during the afternoon and evening. Those storms may be strong to severe with gusty to damaging winds being the main threat.
TUESDAY: Warm, moist air surging in from the South will give us a chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Gusty winds in excess of 40 to 50 mph is a concern, which could turn a few these thunderstorms into strong storms. Not everyone will pick up on the rain today. High temperatures will reach close to 90.
WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: A cold front moving in from the North and West will pump in a good amount of moisture to give us scattered showers and thunderstorms. Rainfall totals could reach from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of rain alone on Thursday. Thunderstorms could be strong with gusty winds and small hail. High temperatures will reach into the upper 80's on Wednesday to the lower 80's on Thursday.
FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND: Pop up showers are likely as small disturbances will roll in. Right now, the model are inching up our rain chances closer to firework time. But for now, as we're four days out, things could change so make sure to tune in with us throughout the week!
THIS EVENING: An isolated shower or storm is possible for southern Tennessee. Northern Alabama should be in the clear all evening.
UNSETTLED PATTERN: This week will be one where we will have many chances for showers and storms. But the rain won't be constant let alone that everyone will always be seeing the rain. Keep that in mind when you look at forecast all week long.
There will be an deep tough developing in the atmosphere that will create those chances for showers and storms. There will be these impulse waves that move along the trough. Depending when those impulses arrive will depend on when our chances get pushed higher or lower. As we head towards the July 4th weekend we will see that trough become weaker so that will decrease our chances for rain this weekend.
Multiple disturbances will move through the Tennessee Valley throughout the week, giving us a chance every day. We could total up to 1.5 inches come Friday. The good news is that it won't be a complete washout, I do expect us to see dry time in between each wave of energy that moves through. The two strongest disturbances are looking to come through Tuesday and Thursday, where over a half of an inch of rainfall could occur. Some strong storms may develop on Tuesday and Thursday as well.
The good news is that these disturbances will be moving from the Northwest which will keep temperatures into the mid to upper 80's with the humidity increasing throughout the week.
TEMPERATURES ARE MUCH COOLER: Most have noticed by now that the heat wave has been broken. We'll start of the work week with temps in the upper 80's however, they'll drop back to the mid 80's through much of the week while we have afternoon showers and storms. Late in the week, models are bringing our temps back up into the upper 80's and possibly the 90's by Saturday.
WETTER WEATHER EXPECTED: Most of June saw below average rainfall, but we'll close out June and start July with increased rain chances. Late Monday night, around mid night, we'll see our rain chances begin to climb. Tuesday afternoon is when I expect most of the rain to arrive. We could see a few non severe thunderstorms thrown in the mix as well. Another round is expected Wednesday afternoon. We'll close out the week with reduced rain chances, but we'll still have some chance.
THE PATTERN CHANGE: The pattern that brought scorching hot temps, has now changed and we'll see a more amplified pattern that will bring cooler temps and rain chances.
THE TEMPERATURES: Most of June saw temps running 5 to 10 degrees above average, with yesterday being the hottest of 2015 with a high of 99 degrees. Through the next few days we'll actually see temps running about 2-3 degrees below average, around 86-87 degrees. The amplified pattern puts us more under a trough than a ridge. Late in the week, models show a warming trends bring our temps to more average.
RAIN CHANCES: We will have a nice end to the weekend with sunshine and warm temps, with the weather remaining mostly dry. However, starting late Monday night into Tuesday, we'll see the rain chances go up and stay up for most of the work week. We could see up to an inch of rain through the next 7 days.