190813 High Heat 2

A worker with the Rogers Group wipes the sweat from his forehead as he and two other workers carry their equipment back to their trucks laying down hot asphalt Tuesday on U.S. 72 in Colbert County. [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

Hot weather continues today but is not expected to meet the 112-degree heat indexes the Shoals has been experiencing.

However, the long-term forecast for the Shoals calls for a more than 50 percent chance of above-average temperatures into September.

Today's high is expected to reach 90 degrees with the heat index reaching 97, according to the National Weather Service office in Huntsville.

That should provide at least some relief from the stifling high heat indexes that topped out at 112 degrees both Monday and Tuesday. Monday's high was 96 and Tuesday's was 98, not counting heat indexes.

The conditions on those days prompted the weather service to take the rare measure of issuing an excessive heat warning that expired Tuesday evening.

"The last time we put one of those out was in 2012," said Andrew Pritchett, meteorologist for the weather service office in Huntsville. "It gets hot in the summer, but that is not a product we put out commonly."

Pritchett said the current weather system reminds him of 2010, although actual highs reached into the 100s during that summer.

"That was very continuous from late July through August," Pritchett said. "I believe that was still our hottest summer on record here."

He said a combination of a very warm, humid air mass and a high pressure system has made it hotter than normal.

The high Thursday will reach around 90 but increase into the mid-90s Friday and Saturday, the forecast states. There are little to no rain chances during that span.

The weather service's Climate Predication Center gauges the likelihood of below-normal, normal and above-normal temperatures across the nation.

It places the Shoals within a range of 55 to 60 percent likelihood of above-normal temperatures for the next three to four weeks.

"That doesn't necessarily mean we're going to see this kind of heat, but it does suggest highs will have a better probability of above normal than normal," Pritchett said.

The center's three-month forecast has the Shoals just barely into the range for above-normal temperatures, but by a small percentage of likelihood.

George Grabryan, director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, said there was a call on a heat-related illness concerning someone working on a house Monday, and a call Tuesday that may have been related to heat regarding someone doing yard work.

Colbert County EMA officials said they have not received any heat-related calls.

"This stuff is nothing to fool with," Grabryan said.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski


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