The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama

Volume 15, Number 10, February 2024

February presented quite the disparity in terms of rainfall. Areas around Montgomery and Auburn experienced well above normal rainfall, with numerous stations recording more than 6 inches of rainfall. On the other hand, areas in southwest Alabama were drier than normal, with many stations recording less than 2 inches of rainfall for the month of February.

As stated earlier, areas around Montgomery and Auburn endured a wet February, with a few stations recording above 9 inches of rainfall, peaking at 10.74 inches at a station in Mathews. However, the majority of the state was drier than normal, particularly areas in southwest Alabama. A station in Atmore recorded the driest location of the month with only a meager 0.42 inches of rainfall, with no missing observations. While there was quite the difference in rainfall across the state, as a whole, Alabama recorded slightly drier than normal conditions at 0.81 inches above normal.

Unlike rainfall, the temperature was generally warmer than normal. February’s monthly average temperature was 4.4°F warmer than the long-term average of 48°F. Much of Alabama recorded unseasonably warm temperatures from the 25th through the 28th, with many stations reporting daily average temperature departures of 15 degrees or more above normal. The Mobile Downtown Airport station recorded the warmest location of the month at 85°F on the 28th. In contrast, February’s coldest location was a tie between Gadsden Municipal Airport station and the Russellville 4 SSE station at 19°F on the 19th.

February saw a slight hiccup in our march toward normal conditions after a very dry fall and early winter. Abnormal dryness creeped back in South Alabama. See Figure 2 for the Drought Monitors representation of conditions as of Feb 27.

With the conclusion of climatological winter (December, January, and February), let’s take a look back at how Alabama fared this winter. Statewide, this winter was the 49th warmest winter on record, with an average temperature of 48.1°F, which is 1.6°F warmer than normal. From a precipitation perspective, this winter was the 58th wettest on record, with 15.77 inches of rainfall, which is 0.25 inches wetter than normal. Snow was observed during only one event this winter, from the 15th to the 17th of January in northern Alabama, with three stations reporting 6 inches or greater of snowfall. The peak snowfall total for winter 2023-2024 was reported by a CoCoRaHS observer in Florence at 7 inches. However, the bigger story with this winter weather event, as mentioned in last month’s Alabama climate report, was the combination of ice/sleet/snow that accumulated and didn’t melt for about a week, given the very cold air that lingered throughout the week.

March marks the beginning of climatological spring and the peak months of the severe weather season (March, April, and May) for Alabama. Thus, it is crucial to have a severe weather plan and to be prepared.

Monthly summaries are provided by Dr. Rob Junod, Lee Ellenburg and Dr. John Christy.

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