The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama

Volume 14, Number 9 - January 2023

January of 2023 proved to be a month of exceptional note, not on account of heavy snowfall or record low temperatures, but rather for an unprecedented number of confirmed tornadoes. Specifically, January 2023 observed the most confirmed tornadoes ever reported in any January (since 1950). A staggering total of 29 tornadoes were confirmed, surpassing the previous record of 21, which was established back in 2017.

An unusually warm January played a significant role in contributing to the historic count of tornadoes recorded. Across the state, January temperatures were 6.3°F warmer than the normal, positioning it as the 10th warmest January on record. Thirteen stations throughout the state experienced a record warm January. Notable among these stations were Heflin, Decatur Pryor Field, Guntersville No. 2, and Cullman 1.5SE, with observations dating as far back as 1956, 1996, 1995, and 1994, respectively. Two stations recorded the hottest daily extreme of 82°F on the 2nd at Mobile Regional Airport and on the 11th at Andalusia-Opp Airport. On the other side of the temperature spectrum, five stations (Valley Head 1SSW, Russellville 4 SSE, station in DeSoto state park, Gadsden Municipal Airport, and Rock Mills) split the title of the coldest location of the month at 21°F on various dates.

Precipitation was consistently above normal for much of January except for some Alabama counties along the coast. Statewide, rainfall was wetter than normal at 1.42 inches above the long-term average of 5.18 inches. The driest location of the month with no missing data was the Nature Center Gulf Shores station with only 2.5 inches of rainfall reported. On the wetter end of the spectrum, a station in Toxey was the wettest location of the month with 11.89 inches of recorded rainfall.

As we experienced this January, Alabama has the potential for severe weather every month of the year, so it’s always a good idea to be weather aware and prepared.

Note: There was a station at Childersburg Water Plant with a low temperature of 17°F which would have been the coldest location in the state but it was determined to be possibly erroneous based on nearby station data. Also a station in Dora recorded the most rainfall this month but was determined to be incorrect based on radar-estimated rainfall and nearby stations.

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



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