The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama

Volume 13, Number 7 - October 2021

Typically in Alabama, October is our driest month of the year statewide. This statement was far from the truth for parts of the state, thanks in part to a deluge of rain that occurred on the evening of October 6th in the Birmingham metro area and portions of northeast Alabama. From a statewide perspective, Alabama was 1.7 inches wetter than the 20th century normal of 2.83 inches.

In the Birmingham metro area and portions of northeast Alabama, significant flooding occurred from the high rainfall rates and previously saturated ground. Most stations in these areas had over 60% of their October 2021 rainfall over the time span of a few hours! The torrential rain was due to a stalled stationary front west of Birmingham and strong southeasterly flow. Numerous stations exceeded their one-day rainfall record for October as well as their monthly rainfall record, mainly from this event. Unfortunately, there were four fatalities due to vehicles being swept off the road. More details about this event can be found here:

From a temperature perspective, Alabama was 3.4°F warmer than normal statewide. Most of this warmth was driven by the anomalous warm nights as the average day-time high temperatures were only 0.9°F warmer than normal in contrast to the average night-time low temperatures that were 6.0°F warmer than normal. Despite the much warmer than normal night-time low temperatures, several locations dipped in the mid/upper-30s in North Alabama, with the Valley Head 1 SSW and Russellville 4 SSE stations recording the coldest location of month at 36°F on the 18th. While no station broke a day-time high temperature record, eleven stations reported temperatures in the 90s this month and once again the Andalusia-Opp Airport station had the warmest location of the month at 93°F on the 1st & 15th. It should be noted that, the Greenville Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport recorded a temperature of 100°F on the 25th but we believe this a bad reading based on a nearby station that was 21°F colder.

No reported tornadoes this month for Alabama but we would be remiss if we didn’t remind everyone that in our state, tornado season never really ends and that there is a secondary peak in late fall. This November is the 20th anniversary of November 2001 24th-25th tornado outbreak of 36 tornadoes that were responsible for 4 fatalities and 102 injuries. 

Let’s be weather aware/prepared.



Distinguished Professor, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences
Director, Earth System Science Center
Alabama State Climatologist
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Assistant State Climatologist
Earth System Science Center
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Associate State Climatologist
Alabama Office of State Climatology
Earth System Science Center
The University of Alabama in Huntsville