Rainfall expected to continue this week

Published 10:14 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

The National Weather Service sees no definite end to the above-normal rainfall in its extended forecast.

Thus far, Chilton County has received 2.18 inches of rainfall in October (not including Monday) and could receive between 3 and 4 inches of additional rain this week, NWS reported from its Calera headquarters.

Based on the 30-year average for October, Chilton County normally sees 3.14 inches of rainfall. That statistic is likely to be topped before week’s end.

“We’ll be in this pattern for the whole week, unfortunately,” Meteorologist Gary Goggins said. “Usually, this is one of our drier portions of the year.”

A subtropical flow from the Southwest will extend the chances of rain through Thursday. By Friday, however, a cold front may bring in some drier air from the Midwest for a much-needed break.

The bigger picture shows above normal rainfall through the winter. The culprit? Most likely El Nino, a warming of surface waters in the tropical and eastern Pacific.

“During an El Nino pattern, it’s typical for southwesterly flow to continue throughout winter time,” Goggins said.

In addition to the above-normal rainfall, Central Alabama could also experience lower than normal temperatures this winter.

“That doesn’t mean anything extreme,” Goggins noted.

The NWS also advises people to stay aware of road conditions due to the frequency of flash floods.

“We’ve had to issue numerous flash flood reports this morning,” Goggins said Monday, calling to mind the NWS campaign, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” which stresses to motorists the dangers of trying to cross flooded roadways.