The climate of Alabama
climate is of humid subtropical type (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very hot summers, mild winters, and precipitation throughout the year. Alabama lies in the tornado-prone Dixie Alley of the southeastern part of the United States. Georgia in the east, Florida in the southeast, the Gulf of Mexico in the south, Mississippi in the west, and Tennessee in the north share borders with the state. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, latitudes close to the equator than the pole, and tropical systems mainly influence the climate.
Alabama, the Yellowhammer State, has an average elevation of 150 meters above sea level, with the highest point at 735 meters at Mount Cheaha. The northern mountainous region consists of rivers, lakes, and streams, with Tennessee as the principal river. The central parts have rocky foothills that rise significantly in the northeast counties. Gentle plains constitute sixty% of the land area, with a gradual descent towards the Gulf of Mexico in the south. Many of the major rivers flow south and southwestward to the Gulf. Alabama is home to one of the largest inland waterway systems in the United States.
Alabama summers have average high temperatures above 90°F (32.2°C) and are among the hottest in the United States. Day highs often average 92°F (33.3°C) in many southern regions. The days are slightly milder near the coast due to the proximity of the Gulf of Mexico, but nights tend to be warmer than the interior regions. Winters are mild to cold, with average low temperatures below freezing in the northeast. The central and southern parts have relatively mild temperatures but experience freezing nights occasionally. Autumn is mild and dry compared to the spring season. Spring is wet and prone to tornadoes and thunderstorms. Hailstorms occur chiefly from February
, while fog descends on the coast in the winter.
The average precipitation is 56" (1422mm) annually and occurs throughout the year. The coast is wetter than the interior, with frequent thunderstorms and tropical storms in the summer. August
is the driest period in the northern and central portions, while the summer season is the wettest along the coast. Snowfall is rare but occurs chiefly in the northern mountainous region of Alabama a few times in the winter. The warm climate gives a long growing season of 300 days in the southern part of the state. The annual sunshine lasts for 2600 hours, with an average of 210 sunny and partly sunny days. Humidity averages between 70% and 75% over the year, and mornings record the highest levels of the day.
Centreville recorded the highest temperature in Alabama of 112°F (44.4°C) on September
26, 1965, while the coldest recorded temperature is -17°F (-27.2°C) in Valley Head on February 12, 1899.
The best time to visit Alabama
The best time to visit Alabama
is during the autumn, when the conditions are relatively mild and dry. The temperatures are far below the peak of the hot summer season, with fewer incidences of storms. The fall season has pleasant outdoor conditions with a drop in humidity and wind speeds. The mornings are refreshing, evenings tend to be breezy, and the wilderness soaks in colors. The coast is calm, and the water temperatures are mild. The northern hilly areas see plenty of tourist interest with cooler temperatures and ample sunlight. Early summer in June
attracts crowds to Alabama.
The worst time to visit Alabama
The worst time to visit Alabama
is from December
that spans the winter and the majority of the spring season. The winter temperatures range from mild to cold, and it is not uncommon to experience freezing nights in the majority of the state. Wind speeds are often high due to a lack of natural barriers except in the northeast. March
and April account for several tornadoes and thunderstorms, with chances of lightning strikes and hailstorms. Tropical storms that originate from the Gulf of Mexico often invade the state in the spring season.
is vulnerable to thunderstorms, tropical storms, floods, and droughts. March
in early spring have the highest frequency of tornadoes, although the season lasts from November
. The central and the northern parts of Alabama lie squarely in the Dixie Alley that has one of the highest tornado risks in the United States. Twenty tornadoes occur on average each year, while the coastal area averages destructive hurricanes once in 7 years. Wind speeds reach 100mph (160.9km/h) along the coast during hurricanes. Thunderstorm activity registers for 60 days in the year, with the maximum number of storms in July
Weather in Januar
is usually the coldest month of the year in Alabama
with wet days and occasional freezing nights. The precipitation is to the tune of 4.5" (114mm) to 6" (152mm), with the northern part slightly wetter than the coast and significantly more than the central portion. The average low temperatures are between 28°F (-2.2°C) in the north to 46°F (7.8°C) along the Gulf Coast.
Weather in Februar
is mildly cold in Alabama
, with the average low temperatures in the 32°F (0°C) to 48°F (8.9°C) range and the average high temperatures in the 53.1°F (11.7°C) to 64.9°F (18.3°C) zone. Birmingham in the central region is colder between 37°F (2.8°C) to 57.9°F (14.4°C) compared to Mobile on the coast between 43°F (6.1°C) to 64°F (17.8°C). The skies are partly cloudy, with 4" (102mm) to 6" (152mm) of precipitation statewide.
Weather in April
is warm in the spring season in Alabama
, with 8 hours of daily sunshine and significant precipitation. The wet conditions last for 8 to 10 days in the month and register 4" (102mm) to 5" (127mm) of rainfall. Day temperatures are in the warm 72°F (22.2°C) to 78.1°F (25.6°C), and draw crowds to the Gulf beaches, with mild ocean waters. Weather in April »
Weather in Jun
is the beginning of the hot summer season in Alabama
, with long days amid bright sunshine. The average high temperatures are in the hot range of 84.9°F (29.4°C) to 90°F (32.2°C), while the average low temperatures are in the warm 64.9°F (18.3°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) zone.
Weather in Jul
is peak summer in Alabama
, with the average high temperatures soaring to 93°F (33.9°C) in the central and southern regions. The majority of the state sees average highs above 90°F (32.2°C) during the day, while the nights register in the range of 68°F (20°C) to 78.1°F (25.6°C). Fairhope and Bay Minette along the coast receive up to 8" (203mm) of precipitation, which gradually tapers going northward till it reaches 4" (102mm) in Huntsville in the north.