...DECEMBER 2009 CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR HUNTSVILLE AND MUSCLE SHOALS...

TEMPERATURES...
THE LARGE SCALE PATTERN ACROSS NORTH AMERICA FOR THE MONTH OF
DECEMBER WAS CONDUCIVE TO REPEATED COLD AIR INTRUSIONS INTO MUCH OF
THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN UNITED STATES. AS A RESULT...TEMPERATURES
WERE RELATIVELY COOL FOR THE TENNESSEE VALLEY FOR THE MONTH. THE
COLDEST SUCH AIRMASS DROPPED TEMPERATURES TO AROUND 10 TO 15
DEGREES BELOW NORMAL ON THE 5TH AND 6TH...AND AGAIN ON THE 10TH AND
11TH. MORNING LOW TEMPERATURES FELL TO THE LOW TO MID 20S ON EACH OF
THESE MORNINGS. TEMPERATURES THEN MODERATED AS THE PATTERN CHANGED
BRIEFLY NEAR THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH. TEMPERATURES REACHED THE LOW
70S AT BOTH LOCATIONS ON THE 14TH BEFORE FALLING OFF AGAIN AFTER THE
PASSAGE OF A COLD FRONT THAT NIGHT. THIS WAS THE LAST OCCURRENCE OF
70S TEMPERATURES FOR THE MONTH AND THE YEAR. TEMPERATURES AVERAGED
SEVERAL DEGREES BELOW NORMAL FOR MOST OF THE THIRD WEEK BEFORE
ANOTHER BRIEF RESPITE IN THE COLD BROUGHT WARM TEMPERATURES TO THE
AREA ONCE AGAIN. AFTERNOON HIGHS TOPPED OUT IN THE 60S ON THE 22ND
AND 24TH AT BOTH LOCATIONS. A COLD FRONT THEN MOVED ACROSS THE AREA
ON THE 25TH AND USHERED A COOLER AIRMASS INTO THE REGION AGAIN.
DAYTIME HIGHS WERE GENERALLY IN THE MID 40S TO NEAR 50 TO ROUND OUT
THE END OF THE MONTH. THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES OF THE MONTH OCCURRED
ON THE 29TH AT BOTH LOCATIONS...WITH VALUES DROPPING INTO THE LOWER
20S.


BELOW ARE DAILY TEMPERATURE GRAPHS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER FOR
EACH LOCATION (CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR A LARGER VERSION).

 

FOLLOWING ARE TEMPERATURE STATISTICS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER FOR

HUNTSVILLE AND MUSCLE SHOALS... 

Location

Huntsville

Muscle Shoals

Average Monthly Temperature

42.5

41.9

Normal December Temperature*

 43.1

43.3 

Deviation From Normal

0.6 Below Normal

1.4 Below Normal 

Monthly Ranking**

45th Coldest

37th Coldest 

Warmest December

53.0 (1933)

52.9 (1933) 

Coolest December

33.8 (1989)

33.4 (1989) 

Max Temperature (Dec 2009)

70 on the 4th

72 on the 14th 

Min Temperature (Dec 2009)

23 on the 6th and 29th

22 on the 6th and 29th 

All-Time Max for December

81 (Dec 8th, 1956)

78 (Dec 7th, 1998)* 

All-Time Min for December

-2 (Dec 22nd/23rd 1989)

-5 (Dec 23rd 1989) 

Record Highs (December 2009)

None

 None

Record Lows (December 2009)

None

 None

 * Most recent occurrence.

 

PRECIPITATION...

 

PRECIPITATION VARIED ACROSS THE AREA FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER...WITH THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION OCCURRING IN NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA. NORTHWESTERN PORTIONS OF THE STATE...INCLUDING MUSCLE SHOALS...ACTUALLY RECEIVED BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE LIGHTEST PRECIPITATION OCCURRED IN EXTREME WESTERN PORTIONS OF FRANKLIN...COLBERT...AND LAUDERDALE COUNTIES...WHERE AMOUNTS WERE GENERALLY BETWEEN TWO AND FOUR INCHES. THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION FELL IN A SWATH FROM SOUTHEASTERN LAWRENCE COUNTY THROUGH HARTSELLE AND INTO SOUTHEAST HUNTSVILLE. PRECIPITATION TOTALS FROM EIGHT TO SIXTEEN INCHES WERE COMMON IN THESE AREAS. ANOTHER AREA OF RELATIVELY HEAVY PRECIPITATION OCCURRED IN EXTREME EASTERN DEKALB COUNTY...WITH SOME AMOUNTS OVER SIX INCHES. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION EVENT OF THE MONTH OCCURRED ON THE 8TH...WHEN A STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVED NORTHWARD ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. HEAVY RAIN FELL ACROSS PORTIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL ALABAMA...WITH HUNTSVILLE RECEIVING 3.79 INCHES...SETTING A NEW DAILY PRECIPITATION RECORD FOR THE DAY. THE RAINFALL TOTAL AT THE SHOALS WAS SUBSTANTIALLY LESS...BUT WAS STILL A RESPECTABLE 1.93 INCHES. OBSERVATION SITES IN OTHER LOCATIONS AROUND THE AREA...PARTICULARLY IN PORTIONS OF MORGAN COUNTY...RECEIVED OVER SIX INCHES OF RAINFALL THAT DAY. RELATIVELY HEAVY RAINFALL DEVELOPED AHEAD OF ANOTHER COUPLE OF COLD FRONTS ON THE 18TH AND THE 24TH. HUNTSVILLE RECEIVED 1.78 INCHES AND 0.88 INCHES...RESPECTIVELY ON THESE DATES...WHILE THE SHOALS RECEIVED 0.45 INCHES AND 1.08 INCHES. RADAR PRECIPITATION ESTIMATES FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER FOR THE HUNTSVILLE FORECAST AREA (CLICK ON THE GRAPH FOR A LARGER VERSION).

 

RADAR ESTIMATED PRECIPITATION ANOMALIES FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER FOR THE HUNTSVILLE FORECAST AREA (CLICK ON THE GRAPH FOR A LARGER VERSION).

 

FOLLOWING ARE PRECIPITATION STATISTICS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER FOR HUNTSVILLE AND MUSCLE SHOALS (ALL AMOUNTS ARE IN INCHES)...

Location

Huntsville

Muscle Shoals

Monthly Precipitation

8.16

4.46

Normal Precipitation

5.59

5.44

Departure from Normal

2.57 Above

0.98 Below

Monthly Ranking

21st Wettest

Over 50th

Wettest December

18.68 (1990)

19.19 (1990)

Driest December

0.58 (1945)

0.65 (1980)

Wettest Day (Dec 2009)

3.79 (Dec 8th)

1.93 (Dec 8th)

Record Wettest Day

9.07 (Dec 22nd 1990)

5.20 (Dec 1st 1991)

 

 

 

THE MONTHLY OUTLOOK FOR JANUARY FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...

THE ONE MONTH TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK INDICATES BEST CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE CENTRAL TENNESSEE VALLEY CLIMATIC ZONES. THE TEMPERATURE PROBABILITIES ARE AS FOLLOWS... ABOVE NORMAL...25 PERCENT NEAR NORMAL....33 PERCENT BELOW NORMAL...42 PERCENT THE ONE MONTH PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES BEST CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE CENTRAL TENNESSEE VALLEY CLIMATIC ZONES. THE PRECIPITATION PROBABILITIES ARE AS FOLLOWS... ABOVE NORMAL...31 PERCENT NEAR NORMAL....33 PERCENT BELOW NORMAL...36 PERCENT  

* NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION ARE BASED ON THE CURRENT 1971-2000 CLIMATOLOGICAL PERIOD. ALL TEMPERATURE DATA ARE EXPRESSED IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. ** TEMPERATURE DATA FOR HUNTSVILLE GO BACK TO 1907...WHILE PRECIPITATION DATA ARE AVAILABLE SINCE 1894. ANY MONTHS THAT CONTAIN MISSING DAILY TEMPERATURE OR PRECIPITATION DATA ARE NOT COUNTED IN THE RANKINGS. *** TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION DATA FOR MUSCLE SHOALS GO BACK TO 1893...HOWEVER SPORADIC OUTAGES OF DATA OCCUR...ESPECIALLY IN THE 1910S AND AGAIN FROM SEPTEMBER 1995 THROUGH MAY 1997. ANY MONTHS THAT CONTAIN MISSING DAILY TEMPERATURE OR PRECIPITATION DATA ARE NOT COUNTED IN THE RANKINGS. NOTE...ALL DATA ABOVE ARE PRELIMINARY AND HAVE NOT UNDERGONE FINAL QUALITY CONTROL BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER (NCDC). THEREFORE...THESE DATA ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION. FINAL AND CERTIFIED DATA CAN BE ACCESSED AT THE NCDC - HTTP://WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV ONE MONTH AND SEASONAL TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER - HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV $$ KDW


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