January 2013 Climate Summary for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals


Continuing the warm trend that began in December, January temperatures averaged above normal.  The monthly average of 45.7 degrees at Huntsville was 4.2 degrees above normal, while the average of 46.4 degrees at Muscle Shoals was 5.5 degrees above normal.  The month began a little cool, with temperatures slightly below normal for the first week.  However, it was the second week which experienced the most anomalous temperatures.  A very warm and unusually humid airmass by January standards moved into the region, raising temperatures into the 70s at many locations on the 11th through 13th.  Overnight lows were only in the 60s on the 11th and 12th, about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the normal high temperatures for the date.  On the 12th, the low temperature at Muscle Shoals only fell to 66 degrees, while the low at Huntsville only fell to 65 degrees.  Not only did these set new record high minimum temperatures for the date, but for the month of January.  Temperatures fell markedly after the warm period at the beginning of the third week.  The high temperature of 74 degrees at Muscle Shoals on the 13th was followed by a high of only 41 on the 14th and 38 on the 15th.  Fairly moderate temperatures occurred for much of the remainder of the 3rd week into the fourth week.  Then, another significant warm up occurred on the 29th and 20th with temperatures averaging around 15-20 degrees above normal.   

Daily Temperature Graphs for the month of January for each location (click on the images for a larger version).

Huntsville - Jan 2013 Temperature Graph

Muscle Shoals - Jan 2013 Temperature Graph

Daily Temperatures for Huntsville January 2013 - click on the image for a larger version. Daily Temperatures for Muscle Shoals January 2013 - click on the image for a larger version.

Temperature Statistics for the Month of January at Huntsville and Muscle Shoals. All temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit.

January Statistic


Muscle Shoals

Average Monthly Temperature 45.7 46.4
Normal Temperature* 41.5 41.0
Deviation From Normal 4.2 Above Normal 5.4 Above Normal
Monthly Ranking** 19th Warmest 15th Warmest
Warmest January 54.9 (1950) 53.9 (1950)
Coolest January 26.2 (1940) 26.9 (1977)
Max Temperature 72 (Jan 12th and 30th) 74 (Jan 13th, 29th and 30th)
Min Temperature 24 (Jan 22nd) 24 (Jan 4th)
All-Time Max Temperature

79 (Jan 1, 1952)

84 (Jan 17, 1936) 
All-Time Min Temperature

 -11 (Jan 21, 1985)
       (Jan 30, 1966)

-11 (Jan 21, 1985)

Record Highs

57 degrees on the 10th (High Minimum)
63 degrees on the 11th (High Minimum)
65 degrees on the 12th (High Minimum)

61 degrees on the 11th (High Minimum)
66 degrees on the 12th (High Minimum)

Record Lows None None



Precipitation was well above normal for January.  In fact, some locations nearly doubled their normal precipitation for the month.  The total of 8.59 inches at Huntsville was 3.70 inches above normal, while the total of 8.74 inches at Muscle Shoals was 4.13 inches above normal.  Huntsville and Muscle Shoals experienced four days with precipitation over one inch, while both locations also recorded measurable precipitation for nine days straight, from January 9th through the 17th.  This was the 2nd longest such streack at Huntsville, just shy of a 10 day streak in 1989, and the 3rd longest at the Shoals, for the month of January.  A daily precipitation record of 1.33 inches was set at Huntsville on the 30th.  At Muscle Shoals, a daily precipitation record of 1.75 inches was tied for the 12th, while the 1.52 inches on the 30th set a new record for the date.  Only trace amounts of snow were recorded at the Shoals for the month, however 0.7 inches of snow fell at Huntsville on the 17th, which set a new snowfall record for the date.     

Radar Precipitation Estimates and Departures from Normal for January for the Huntsville Forecast Area (amounts are in units of inches).

Radar Precipitation Estimates

Radar Precipitation Departures from Normal

Radar precipitation estimates - click on the image for a larger version Radar estimated precipitation anomalies - click on the image for a larger version

January Precipitation Statistics for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals (amounts are in units of inches).

January Statistic


Muscle Shoals

Monthly Precipitation 8.59 8.74
Normal Precipitation 4.89 4.61
Departure from Normal 3.70 Above Normal 4.13 Above Normal
Monthly Ranking 8th Wettest 8th Wettest
Wettest January 10.92 (1982) 13.09 (1950)
Driest January 1.28 (1914) 0.60 (1986)
Wettest Calendar Day 2.02 (Jan 15th) 1.75 (Jan 12th)
Record Wettest Day 4.83 (Jan 3, 1982) 4.41 (Jan 31, 1951)
Monthly Snowfall 0.7 Trace
Normal Snowfall 1.1 0.4
Record Monthly Snowfall 9.6 (1988) 10.6 (1966)

The Monthly Outlook for February from the Climate Prediction Center...
The one month temperature outlook indicates higher chances for above normal temperatures for the Tennessee Valley climatic zones.  The 3-tiered probabilities are as follows...

Above Normal....42%
Near Normal......33%
Below Normal....25%

The one month precipitation outlook indicates equal chances for above, near or below normal precipitation for the central Tennessee Valley climatic zones. The 3-tiered probabilities are as follows...

Above Normal....33%
Near Normal......34%
Below Normal....33%

What is normal for February? ...Huntsville daily normals and records / Muscle Shoals daily normals and records

* Normal temperatures and precipitation are based on the 1981-2010 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 at the following location... http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov

One month and seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks may be obtained from the Climate Prediction Center at the following location...http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov


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