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MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2007
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Rain provides relief from heat

By Evan Belanger
evanb@decaturdaily.com · 340-2442

Rain brought cooling relief Sunday to the heat wave that has plagued the Tennessee Valley for nearly two weeks.

But for the second day in a row, accurate weather readings were not available for the Decatur area.

A technical problem with the National Weather Service’s weather-monitoring station at Pryor Field is preventing Hunts-ville-based forecasters from observing Decatur weather patterns.

That means local weather enthusiasts may never know if temperatures Saturday rose past the century mark, breaking a 55-year-old record for the most days above 100 in a row.

That record was set in 1952 with 10 consecutive days above 100. The Decatur area tied the record Friday.

“We may have to estimate it (Saturday’s high) based on monitoring stations in surrounding areas,” said Jason Elliot, a forecaster with the NWS. “But we might never know for sure.”

According to the NWS, a qualified observer on Alabama 67 reported Saturday’s high at 96 degrees. Elliot said that reading may be slightly off because the high in Athens was 101.

He said it may be possible for technicians to recover readings from the monitoring station at Pryor, but it would depend on what the problem was.

If information is not available from Pryor, he said, an official guess will be made Monday, when a monitoring station in Belle Mina — the closest to Pryor — reports in.

Due to the downed station, temperature and precipitation readings for Sunday were also unavailable.

Temperatures the rest of this week are expected to be in the high 90s and could break 100 again by Wednesday, according to the NWS.

The NWS also reports rain chances are minimal through Friday, with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms during the weekend.

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