The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama

Volume 9, Number 9 - December 2018

The year for Alabama ended on a fairly wet note for almost the entire state.  During the year various sections of the state flirted with drought issues, but we avoided the serious deficits that have occurred in years past.  A little over half the state reported totals greater than 8 inches for December with several more than 10 inches (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Shelby Co. Airport, Anniston, Opelika, Dothan and more).  Foley 0.5ESE, Thomasville 2S, Alabaster 2.5NE and Foley 2.0SSW all reported more than 15 inches.  A few stations in SE AL did not reach the 5-inch mark (e.g. Andalusia, Dothan, Auburn). 

The wet December put most of the stations above their normal annual total.   In preliminary 2018 totals, stations in and around Fairhope were the wettest with Fairhope 2.2E 89.32” and above 85” - Fairhope 1.5WSW, Bay Minette and Fairhope 2.3N.  We certainly welcome the CoCoRaHS rainfall and snowfall reports as these fill many of the gaps in our current network of observations.

In 2018 temperatures hit 100°F in only five stations with Marion Junction 2NE leading the pack at 102°F followed at 100°F by Childersburg, Eufaula, Andalusia and Muscle Shoals.  Two bitter cold events in January sent temperatures down to single digits in numerous stations as far south as Thomasville, Demopolis and Greensboro. Addison in the Bankhead Forest won the prize for the coldest reading at 0°F.

Water-wise we begin 2019 in good shape with very moist conditions.  But as we know, things can change with the weather in this part of the world and no one really knows what the coming year will bring.  A fading El Niño in the tropical Pacific hints at a coolish and wettish spring, but not much more than a hint at this point.  Whatever happens, stay tuned to the Alabama Climate Report to see what is transpiring with our weather.

- John Christy
The Alabama State Climatologist