Is Central Alabama on a Record-Setting Pace for Yearly Rainfall?

 

As you have probably noticed, there has been a good amount of rainfall across Central Alabama so far this year (and in fact all of the state and along the Gulf Coast). But, has this rainfall been more than that seen in previous years? As shown in the table below, rainfall totals in general have been greater as you go south toward the Gulf Coast.

 

Rainfall January through May, 2014

 

Birmingham 22.86"
Anniston 23.52"
Tuscaloosa 25.04"
Montgomery 28.89"
Huntsville 23.47"
Muscle Shoals 16.80"
Mobile 41.50"
Brewton 40.03"
Pensacola FL 56.48"
Tallahassee FL 32.09"

 

 

Looking at past rainfall records, we can see that the totals so far this year are not unheard of, and in fact there have been many years with higher amounts.  It is actually fairly common for rainfall totals to have approached or exceeded forty inches by the end of May, as the table below indicates.

 

Years with Rainfall of 40" or More January through May

 

Birmingham 1929 - 42.21"
  1980 - 41.19"
Anniston 1979 - 43.37"
Tuscaloosa 1976 - 40.92"
  1979 - 40.72"
  1980 - 40.29"
  1983 - 41.36"
Montgomery 1912 - 44.10"
  1929 - 44.85"
Huntsville 1991 - 39.53"
Muscle Shoals 1939 - 41.62"
  1991 - 45.05"
Mobile 1929 - 44.62"
  1947 - 46.17"
  1980 - 50.50"
  1991 - 49.71"
Brewton 1980 - 40.95"
  1983 - 42.44"
  1990 - 41.02"
  1995 - 40.21"
Pensacola FL 1991 - 44.48"
  2005 - 46.49"
Tallahassee FL 1973 - 47.20"
  1991 - 48.05"
 

                             

                                                   

So, in the "wet" years shown above, what were the final yearly rainfall totals?  As you can see below, the remainder of many of these years was not as wet although in most cases the yearly rainfall was still well above normal.

 

Final Yearly Total for Years with 40" or More January through May

 

Birmingham 1929 - 81.82"
  1980 - 61.47"
Anniston 1979 - 68.59"
Tuscaloosa 1976 - 68.30"
  1979 - 68.05"
  1980 - 60.62"
  1983 - 78.35"
Montgomery 1912 - 77.89"
  1929 - 78.25"
Huntsville 1991 - 70.26"
Muscle Shoals 1939 - 69.94"
  1991 - 77.17"
Mobile 1929 - 89.34"
  1947 - 84.20"
  1980 - 78.12"
  1991 - 81.67"
Brewton 1980 - 67.04"
  1983 - 83.92"
  1990 - 60.98"
  1995 - 95.77"
Pensacola FL 1991 - 68.62"
  2005 - 76.22"
Tallahassee FL 1973 - 87.80"
  1991 - 72.25"

 

                                    

It is interesting to note that the highest yearly rainfall totals for several stations were not in any of the years shown above.  In fact, six of the ten stations (shown in bold in the table below) received their greatest yearly rainfall totals in years when the January through May totals were well below 40 inches.

 

Greatest Yearly Rainfall All Years

(Totals in Parentheses are January through May Totals)

 

                               

Birmingham 1929 - 81.82"
Anniston 2013 -  75.28"  (32.93”)
Tuscaloosa 1983 -  78.35"
Montgomery 1929 -  78.25"
Huntsville 1989 -  73.58"  (28.09”)
Muscle Shoals 1975 -  78.78"  (30.92”)
Mobile 1881 -  92.32"  (38.03”)
Brewton 1995 -  95.77"
Pensacola FL 1953 -  93.32"  (31.32”)
Tallahassee FL 1964 - 104.18"  (33.07”)

                       

  


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