A break in the right direction

It seems to this Midwestern forecaster that lately, and especially in the summer, temperatures always sneak past the forecast highs. Apparently, that’s not how it works in northern Alabama! Temperatures failed to surpass 90 in HuntsvHuntsville, Alabamaille as August turned to September, and on the 1st, the low temperature dipped below 60. You can almost sleep in those temperatures! Unbound by our preconceived biases, Forecast.io did not fall into the too warm trap and had the top forecast.
Actuals: August 31st, High 89, Low 64
September 1st, High 89, Low 59

Grade: A – C

Huntsville, Alabama

It’s the very end of August, and instead of enduring the heat, many residents of Huntsville – Rocket City, for it’s close ties to the Space Program – are probably indoors following the launch of the Artemis rocket, which was scrubbed yesterday, but will hopefully be launched when weather improves. Speaking of weather, what IS going to happen in Huntsville?

At 1253PM, CT, Huntsville was reporting a temperature of 82 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. Huntsville was one of the rare spots seeing clouds, but high pressure was building throughout the rest of northern Alabama, a rarity this time of year. A line of thunderstorms through central Alabama precedes the south-building ridge, and is allowing Huntsville to enjoy relatively low humidity.
The ridge is going to remain stout in the southeast, and keep Huntsville dry through the middle of the week. The cold front bringing thunderstorms south of Huntsville presently is going to weaken as it hits the Gulf Coast and become more permeable. Expect humidity to start building back into the region throughout the forecast period.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 92, Low 66
Thursday – Partly cloudy, High 92, Low 63

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny high 91, Low 68
Thursday – Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. High 92, Low 62

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and less humid High 92, Low 67
Thursday – Plenty of sun High 94, Low 62

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 89, Low 68
Thursday – Sunny, High 91, Low 64

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 89, Low 69
Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 90, Low 63

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 89, Low 67
Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 91, Low 61

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 88, Low 67
Thursday – Clear throughout the day. High 89, Low 60

This is a downright delightful forecast for Huntsville. Dew points in the 60s! Here is a pretty steady line of storms off to the south right now.

It’s the nights that are oppressive

A lot was made of the heat indices in the 110’s across a broad swath of the Plains east through the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic, but Huntsville is at higher elevation, and was battling an area of low pressure that was bringing clouds to the region and some spots of rain near (but not in) Huntsville on Friday and Saturday. Temperatures, as a result, barely scraped 90. Still hot, but not as hot as it could have been. The problem was overnight, when lows were in the muggy low 70s. That’s tough, as the body can’t cool down and recharge, and is an underrated danger of heat waves. As for the verification of Thursday’s forecast, there was a quartet of forecasters on level pegging: Victoria-Weather, The Weather Channel, Accuweather and Forecast.io.
Actuals: Friday – High 90, Low 73
Saturday – High 88, Low 72

Grade: B-C

Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Huntsville, Alabama

This drive will straddle the Appalachians, and despite the nexus generally in the Eastern US, we will duck a lot of the traffic trouble. We’re going to take 2 days with a total distance of 1,066 miles. We’ll average 66mph, and will travel 528 miles, a little less than half, on our first day of travel.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

DAY ONE (Friday)
It’s been a bit active in the eastern United States, but we are looking at a break in the action, at least in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic tomorrow. A perturbation rolling through the Great Lakes tomorrow will bring some rain to interior New England initially, and reaching the coast by late afternoon. By that time, though, we’ll be well into the Potomac Valley, on our way to Mint Spring, Virginia, which is near Staunton.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
The sunshine will continue while we are to the east of the Appalachians, but as we crest them, we will also begin to intersect the moisture flow from the Gulf. Our drive through Tennessee will be dotted with rain and thunderstorms triggered by flow sneaking up the hillsides, and we will have to navigate this threat for the remainder of our drive. There will be more widespread gaps in precipitation the nearer we are to to Hunstville, thanks to the slightly flatter terrain, but the storms will be based nearer to the surface, which suggests a bit more intensity when we are in them. And gosh dang, will it be hot.