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Jack’s

Rainy End to November?

Posted on: 6:15 pm, November 19, 2012, by

This month has been unusually dry AND unusually cool in the Tennessee Valley so far! Huntsville is running about 67% of normal rainfall while Muscle Shoals has only had about 50% of what would be considered “normal” rainfall over the past 30 years.

Temperature-wise, it has been significantly cooler than those “normal” values in the record books, but it has been nowhere near record territory.

Huntsville is running 4.8º F below normal; Muscle Shoals is 3.3º F below normal so far in November.

It is a little unusual to be cooler-than-normal AND drier-than-normal this time of year, but it is what it is!

So what does the rest of November hold for Alabama and Tennessee?

There are definitely some signs of a wet end to the month. If we didn’t get another drop of rain in November (which is unlikely), both Huntsville and Muscle Shoals would only be around the 14th to 15th driest November on record. So as dry as it has been, it has been nowhere near the driest in history. If you’re wondering, Huntsville’s driest November had 0.49″ for the whole month in 1924; Muscle Shoals recorded only 0.16″ in November 1949.

Looking at the long-range model data, a more active pattern is becoming more and more of a sure thing by the middle of next week. This is the operational run of the GFS (American) forecast model indicating forecast surface pressure and precipitation over the previous 60 hours (the panel is the forecast for noon on Thursday, November 29th):

The operational run suggests around 1-2″ of rain between Tuesday, November 27th and Thursday, November 29th. That would be a good thing for us since it’s been so dry lately.

There is some good confidence for this solution in the ensembles as well:

A 30 to 40% chance of “significant” rain over a 3-day period gives us some good confidence that rain will come down and give us a solid soaking in the final few days of the month! Right now, those three days looks like Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as a slow-moving storm system inches across the Southern States focusing a lot of Gulf moisture over this region. We are too far out for hour-by-hour specifics, but I can tell you the middle of the week looks wetter than the beginning or the end!

We’ll keep you updated on the specifics on our main forecast page at WHNT.com/Weather!

-Jason
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