The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama

Volume 7, Number 9 - June 2017

Most of Alabama was wet in June. How wet?

In our 25-station sample, 11 cities saw their wettest June on record (at least, back to 1930). Greensboro got 19.69" of rain in June and Thomasville got 18.1". Highland Home got 16.03", Brewton 15.16", Mobile 14.36" and Clanton 12.65".

Other stations seeing their wettest Junes included Auburn, Birmingham, Gainesville Lock, Selma and Tuscaloosa. (For details, see "Climate Summaries.)

Some of the rainfall totals that didn't set records were nonetheless noteworthy. Calera's 13.43" in June didn't break the 14.58" record set in 2003. Montgomery's 12.04" was nearly three times the normal rainfall for June, but not more than the 14.44" in June 1989.

Several of Alabama's CoCoRAHS stations reported extraordinary rainfall in June: The only station in Escambia County had 20.37", while the only station in Choctaw County had 19.28". The 14 volunteers in Mobile County saw an average June rainfall of 17.46", while the 17 stations in Baldwin County reported an average of 14.72".

Getting away from the coast, the 15 CoCoRAHS volunteers in Jefferson County reported 12.95 inches of rain, while the two stations in Autauga County had 14.52".

The heavy rain wasn't universal: Muscle Shoals received only 2.62" of rain in June, Decatur only 4.65" and Russellville 4.56".

As is the case more often than not, a wet month also means a month that is cooler than normal. Looking only at daily high temperatures, Mobile was 3.2° cooler than normal in June, although nighttime lows were 0.8° warmer than normal. (It's the humidity.)

The same was true in Huntsville (+0.2 at night but -1.7 for the daytime highs), Birmingham (+0.8 at night, -2.7 during the day), while in Montgomery the nighttime lows were warm enough (+2.7°) outweighed the cooler days (+1.9°) to keep the capital's June average warmer than normal.

The cooler June temperatures didn't stop several Alabama stations from seeing significantly warmer January-to-June average temperatures.

With a record going back to 1948, Montgomery saw it's warmest and wettest first half of a year, with average temperatures that were 4.9° warmer than normal and 15.73 inches more rain than would be normal in that time.

Looking at average temperatures, Birmingham (+4.3°), Huntsville (+3.9°) and Mobile (+3.4°) each saw their second warmest first six months, although the rainfall rankings varied widely. While Birmingham saw its fifth wettest January-June with 10.11" more rain than normal and Mobile its sixth wettest with rainfall running 13.4" more than normal, Huntsville was only 1.12" above normal for rainfall during the same period.

- John Christy