The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama
Climatologist

Volume 14, Number 5 - AUGUST 2022

Statewide, August’s weather was slightly cooler and a little wetter than usual. Relative to the 20th century average, the temperature averaged 0.2°F below the normal of 79.3°F and precipitation was 1.92 inches above the normal of 4.34 inches.

Temperature-wise, the first and last week of the month were generally warmer than normal while the state enjoyed unseasonably cooler temperatures during the middle of the month. The cooler temperatures also provided relief from the oppressive humidity which Alabama has experienced all summer long. The coldest daily extreme of the month was recorded in stations at Talladega, Childersburg, Guntersville, Crossville, and Russellville at 60°F. On the other hand, the hottest daily extreme was recorded in Andalusia-Opp airport at 101°F on the 15th and 16th, which was the only Alabama station to record a temperature 100°F or greater this August.

While the statewide average rainfall was 6.26 inches, the sporadic distribution of wet and dry stations this summer continued this month. The wettest locations were generally located around the Montgomery and Mobile metropolitan areas with the station in Loxely recording the most rainfall this month at a remarkable 19.42 inches. The driest locations were generally situated around the Birmingham and Huntsville metropolitan areas with a station at the Talladega airport recording only 0.88 inches of rainfall, the least amount of rainfall for the entire month of August.

With the conclusion of climatological summer (June, July, August), let’s look back at how Alabama faired this summer. Statewide, this summer was the 21st warmest summer on record, with an average temperature of 80.2°F, which is 1.3°F warmer than normal. Precipitation-wise, this summer was the 45th wettest summer on record, with 15.38 inches of precipitation, which is 1.31 inches wetter than normal. Looking ahead into fall, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecasts Alabama as 40-50% chance for above normal seasonal average temperatures. The precipitation is a bit varied with forecasts for equal chances in the southern half, and 33-40% chance below normal in the northern half of Alabama. The following tables provide the normals for Alabama and the four major metropolitan areas relative to the 1991-2020 reference period for each fall month.

As noted last month, July was quite warm and that Huntsville achieved the second highest number of 95°F days for July since records began in 1894.  Now that the warm season is over, as of this writing, Huntsville’s number of total summer days in 2022 above 95°F was 37, a good bit above the long-term average of 22.  However, as seen in the chart below, Huntsville has seen years with as many as 69 days (1954) at or above 95°F days with 25 years exceeding the count of 37 we experienced in 2022.  Indeed, every year from 1930-1936 saw more hot days than we felt in 2022. 

Next month we will update the charts that go back to the 19th century for the four main metropolitan areas in Alabama to include the summer temperatures of 2022.

Monthly summaries are provided by Drs. Rob Junod and John Christy.


 

CONTACT:

Dr. JOHN R. CHRISTY
Distinguished Professor, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences
Director, Earth System Science Center
Alabama State Climatologist
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
256-961-7763
christy@nsstc.uah.edu
Dr. ROB JUNOD
Assistant State Climatologist
Earth System Science Center
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
256-961-7743
rjunod@nsstc.uah.edu
LEE ELLENBURG
Associate State Climatologist
Alabama Office of State Climatology
Earth System Science Center
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
256-961-7498
wle00001@uah.edu