A Wet & Cool July 2013 


Rainfall
 

It's pretty obvious that it was a wet July across Central Alabama as a weather pattern conducive for frequent rainfall prevailed. During much of the month an upper level trough prevailed across the Southeastern U.S. while a persistent ridge of high pressure was centered in the Western Atlantic Ocean. This allowed for a persistent flow of moist and unstable air with embedded weather disturbances to dominate the area during much of the month, producing above normal rainfall for Central Alabama. Most areas received from six to thirteen inches, with totals in excess of fifteen inches in the extreme southeast sections.

The map to the right includes actual observations from ASOS, CocoRaHS, and Co-Op sites of July rainfall totals across the state, along with estimates derived from River Forecast Centers. The highest rainfall totals were across southeastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, where several locations observed well over 20 inches of rainfall.

 
Interactive Map - July 2013 Rainfall Totals
Click on the points below to display the rainfall totals for the individual observation sites.
Zoom into the map using the mouse wheel or the Plus and Minus buttons at the top left.
Search for your town or location of interest using the "Find Address or Place" tool at the top right.

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How did July 2013 rank in terms of historical rainfall? Let's look at some rainfall climatology for our 4 main climate locations across Central Alabama.

 
Total Monthly Rainfall for July
Location Rainfall Total (in) Rank Record/Date % of Normal
Birmingham 8.80 11th 20.12 (1916) 180%
Montgomery 9.36 6th 13.42 (1899) 180%
Tuscaloosa 7.16 7th 10.06 (1973) 160%
Anniston 12.70 2nd 13.90 (1950) 275%
 

At the Birmingham Airport: There were 17 days with measurable rainfall and 2 other days when a trace fell. The greatest rainfall for one day was 3.19 inches on the 21st.

At the Montgomery Airport: There were 18 days with measurable rainfall and 5 other days when a trace fell. The greatest rainfall for one day was 3.70 inches on the 22nd.

At the Tuscaloosa Airport: There were 15 days with measurable rainfall and 6 other days when a trace fell. The greatest rainfall for one day was 1.62 inches on the 4th.

At the Anniston Airport: There were 17 days with measurable rainfall and 2 other days when a trace fell. The greatest rainfall for one day was 3.00 inches on the 6th.

An interesting note is that the record July rainfall for Birmingham and the second greatest July rainfall for Montgomery occurred in 1916 in association with a category three hurricane that made landfall west of the state on July 5th, and then stalled over Northern Alabama. During a five day period, Birmingham received 14.27 inches of rain while Montgomery received 10.55 inches in a six day period associated with this storm.

 
Temperatures
 
The frequent rainfall and cloud cover helped keep temperatures a bit cooler than normal for much of the month as well. Overnight lows were actually very close to normal, but the biggest difference came in afternoon high temperatures. Here's a look at the average maximum temperatures for the month of July and how they compare to the lowest average maximum temperatures on record.
 
Lowest Average Maximum Temperature (July)
Location Avg Max Temp (°F) Rank Record/Date
Birmingham 86.1 7th 85.2 (1916)
Montgomery 88.3 11th 86.3 (1916)
Tuscaloosa 88.2 2nd-Tied 85.8 (1967)
Anniston 85.6 1st* 85.7 (1989)
 
It's interesting to note that, as of Aug 1st, 2013, Birmingham and Anniston still have not reached 95 degrees this year! The last time Birmingham hit 95 degrees was Aug 1, 2012. Anniston last hit 95 degrees on Aug 2, 2012.
 

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