The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama
Climatologist

Volume 9, Number 10 - January 2019

January 2019 brought the usual weather variations that occur this time of year, warm, cold, wet, dry, but for the month as a whole, things were close to average.  The coldest station in Alabama was Addison which saw a low temperature of 12°F on the 30th.  Of the 74 stations with official reports though, only one did not dip below freezing, Bon Secour just northwest of Gulf Shores, bottoming out at only 35°F on the 26th.  And, fairly rare, no station reported measureable snowfall for the month.  On the warm side the state’s highest official reading at this point was 79°F at Dothan on New Years Day.

Statewide January’s temperature was 46.4°F in Alabama which was slightly above the average of 45.1°F.  January’s temperature varies quite a bit.  Since 1895 the coldest was experienced in 1940 with a statewide average of just 32.1°F, a month when bodies of water as large as Lake Guntersville froze over and photos of brave souls driving vehicles across the lake were taken.  It hit 16°F below zero in St. Bernard that month. Exactly 10 years later the state roasted through a January that averaged 58.9°F, almost 14°F above average.  Thus, the statewide, January average has bounced up and down with a span of over 25°F.

In terms of rainfall, the state’s average was very near normal, at 5.71” compared with the long-term average of 5.18”.  As usual, stations around the state came in with a variety of totals.  Many stations reported less than 3”, mainly in South Alabama, while 26 stations in more northern locations measured over 8”, with Chatom, though not far from Mobile, being at the top with 11.10”.  And, just as the temperature has bounced around the average, so to has precipitation.  In 1927 the state averaged paltry 1.27”, yet nine years later in 1936 11.49” drenched the state.  As we all know, winter in Alabama is a time to be prepared for just about anything.

- John Christy
The Alabama State Climatologist