Public Information Statement

Issued: July 21, 2007

...Weather & Climate Information for Central Alabama...
...The First Half of 2007...

The lack of rainfall and the subsequent drought conditions were the big stories for the first half of the year. Fruit crops were initially damaged or destroyed by a hard freeze from April 5th through April 10th. Lows temperatures plummeted into the 20s and 30s during this time frame. Thereafter...the abnormally dry weather continued through June and took an additional toll on area crops. Many areas reached D3 Extreme to D4 Exceptional Drought conditions in May and June. Numerous counties across Central Alabama reported significant crop loss including corn, hay, peanuts, cotton, soybeans, livestock and pastures. Many irrigation ponds and wells went dry. All Central Alabama counties have been declared a Natural Disaster Area. View the most up to date Drought Monitor .

The Alabama Forestry Commission declared either a Drought Emergency or a Fire Alert for all Central Alabama counties in June. The dry conditions caused a High Fire Danger risk. Numerous wild fires occurred with over 70,000 acres burned. Tree farms have had significant losses with new planting survival rates down 25 percent. There have also been reports of a southern pine beetle outbreak.

Area rivers and reservoirs were running below to much below normal. Most stream flows within these larger systems were at or near record low levels. Area reservoir operators reported many locations had reached levels near the winter pool levels. Many mandatory and voluntary water restrictions were put in place. Fines or surcharges were being enforced due to the severe drought conditions. View the most up to date Streamflows.

Interesting Statistics for the First Half of 2007 that occurred across Central Alabama;

1) On April 30th...Montgomery reported a new record high temperature of 94 degrees. This was the highest temperature recorded in April since record keeping began in 1872.

2) From January through June...Birmingham measured 11.91 inches of rain. This was the driest first half of the year since record keeping began in 1896.

3) From January through June...Tuscaloosa measured 9.64 inches of rain. This was the driest first half of the year since record keeping began in 1948.

4) From January through June...Anniston measured 9.79 inches of rain. This was the second driest first half of the year since 1986 when 8.24 inches was recorded. Record keeping began in 1903.

5) In Montgomery...measured rainfall for May was 0.23 inches. This was the driest May ever recorded. Measurements began in 1872.

6) In Tuscaloosa...measured rainfall for May was 0.06 inches. This was the driest May ever recorded. Measurements began in 1948.

7) In Anniston...measured rainfall for May was 0.14 inches. This was the driest May ever recorded. Measurements began in 1903.

8) In Birmingham...measured rainfall for May was 1.08 inches. This was the fifth driest May ever recorded. The record driest May occurred in 1898 when no rainfall was measured.

9) In Anniston...measured rainfall for March was 2.13 inches. This was the second driest March ever recorded. The record driest March occurred in 1985 when 1.38 inches was measured.

10) In Tuscaloosa...measured rainfall for March was 1.16 inches. This was the second driest March ever recorded. The record driest March occurred in 1986 when 1.12 inches was measured.

11) In Birmingham...measured rainfall for March was 1.02 inches. This was the third driest March ever recorded. The record driest March occurred in 1918 when 0.32 inches was measured.

12) In Tuscaloosa...measured rainfall for January was 2.03 inches. This was the fourth driest January ever recorded. The record driest January last occurred in 1986 when 1.22 inches was measured.

13) Based on data from 1961-2000...the average number of tornadoes across the 39 central Alabama counties was 16. In 2007...21 tornadoes have already occurred. The strongest was an EF4 that touched down in Wilcox and Dallas counties.

14) The Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale was implemented on February 1st.

15) An EF4 tornado touched down on March 1st. EF4 tornadoes account for roughly 1 percent or less of all tornado occurrences in the United States.

16) Birmingham record highs; 87 degrees March 29th.

17) Montgomery record highs; 97 June 8th, 101 June 9th, 100 June 10th, 94 April 30th, 89 March 29th and 87 March 26th.

 

Severe Weather...Central Alabama has been known for active weather at any time of day in any month. Several severe weather episodes occurred in the first half of 2007 including;

A) January 5th...wind damage occurred ahead of a cold front. Damage was confined to areas north of I-20. Wind gusts were estimated up to 70 mph.

B) January 7th...another cold front moved through the region. Two tornadoes, wind damage, hail, and flash flooding were all reported in areas near and south of I-85.

C) February 13th...severe thunderstorms produced large hail in several locations and the hail produced damage to homes and automobiles. Tennis ball to baseball size hail fell in Tuscaloosa County. Four weak tornadoes also occurred from Tuscaloosa County to Autauga County.

D)March 1st...a High Risk of severe thunderstorms was posted including violent tornadoes. Nine tornadoes were confirmed across Central Alabama. An EF4 tornado touched down in Wilcox and Dallas Counties. Golf ball to baseball size hail also accompanied the supercell thunderstorms on this day.

E)April 11th...six tornadoes occurred areawide as a few supercell thunderstorms developed during the afternoon hours. These storms produced swaths of large hail. Some of the hail was reported to be grapefruit to softball size. A few more supercells formed on April 14th when one tornado occurred with instances of large hail and damaging winds.

F) For the last month of Spring Severe Weather Season, May was extremely quiet. June was much more typical of the summer season. Strong thunderstorms developed during the afternoon and early evening hours on several occasions. These strong thunderstorms produced large hail and wet microbursst. A wet microburst is a localized column of sinking air that produces damaging straight line winds and heavy rain at the surface. These winds may reach 50 to 100 mph and are typically short lived over a relatively small area. Damaging winds and/or large hail occurred on June 5th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th ,15th, 18th, 24th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th.

 

Winter Weather...winter 2006-2007 ended with no big stories. A light mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow was observed on January 31st and February 1st. Any light accumulations on elevated and exposed surfaces quickly melted after sunrise. The winter mix was confined to the northern half of Central Alabama.

 

Unofficial temperature and precipitation data for selected sites;

Birmingham
January-June 2007
Highest Temperature 98 June 11th
Lowest Temperature 18 January 29th
Average High Temperature 72.4
Average Low Temperature 49.6
Average Daily Temperature 61.0
Departure From Normal +2.5
Average Daily 1 Year Ago 61.6
Departure From Normal +3.2
Precipitation 11.91
Normal Precipitation 29.04
Departure From Normal -17.13
Precipitation 1 Year Ago 34.50
Departure From Normal +5.46
Highest Wind Gust 39 mph February 24th
Montgomery
January-June 2007
Highest Temperature 101 June 6th & 9th
Lowest Temperature 21 January 29th & February 17th
Average High Temperature 76.0
Average Low Temperature 50.1
Average Daily Temperature 63.0
Departure From Normal +1.3
Average Daily 1 Year Ago 63.4
Departure From Normal +1.7
Precipitation 14.83
Normal Precipitation 29.53
Departure From Normal -14.70
Precipitation 1 Year Ago 22.79
Departure From Normal -6.74
Highest Wind Gust 53 mph June 8th


Tuscaloosa
January-June 2007
Highest Temperature 101 June 11th
Lowest Temperature 18 January 29th
Average High Temperature 74.3
Average Low Temperature 47.1
Average Daily Temperature 60.7
Departure From Normal -0.50
Average Daily 1 Year Ago 63.4
Departure From Normal +2.2
Precipitation 9.64
Normal Precipitation 31.01
Departure From Normal -21.37
Precipitation 1 Year Ago 23.09
Departure From Normal -7.92
Highest Wind Gust 44 mph June 18th
Anniston
January-June 2007
Highest Temperature 99 June 30th
Lowest Temperature 19 Several
Average High Temperature 72.7
Average Low Temperature 46.8
Average Daily Temperature 59.8
Departure From Normal +1.7
Average Daily 1 Year Ago 60.9
Departure From Normal +2.8
Precipitation 9.79
Normal Precipitation 29.59
Departure From Normal -19.80
Precipitation 1 Year Ago 25.85
Departure From Normal -3.74
Highest Wind Gust 44 mph June 30th


Calera
January-June 2007
Highest Temperature 99 June 11th
Lowest Temperature 19 January 29th
Average High Temperature 72.7
Average Low Temperature 49.2
Average Daily Temperature 60.9
Average Daily 1 Year Ago 61.8
Precipitation 11.81
Precipitation 1 Year Ago 26.71
Highest Wind Gust 44 mph March 1st
Troy
January-June 2007
Highest Temperature 99 June 11th
Lowest Temperature 19 February 17th
Average High Temperature 75.5
Average Low Temperature 48.3
Average Daily Temperature 61.9
Average Daily 1 Year Ago 63.1
Precipitation 16.82
Precipitation 1 Year Ago 21.31
Highest Wind Gust 45 mph June 30th

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