In the southeastern United States, Alabama possesses a humid subtropical climate, meaning people experience hot summers and cool winders with mild, copious precipitation throughout the year. Since the northern Alabama region is in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, it is relatively hotter during summers. Conversely, the southern part has a much cooler temperature due to the presence of the Appalachian Mountains.
Summers in Alabama
Alabama faces extreme temperatures during summer in the entire United States. The temperatures touch as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the summer season. The weather barely changes during June, July, and August and is usually hot and humid. Occasionally, the state also experiences scattered thunderstorms during these months due to the extreme temperatures in the afternoon. The tropical winds in the Central Gulf Coast are also one of the significant reasons for scattered thunderstorms during summer. Even today, the exact location of precipitation during summer is unknown. Hence, it is a critical challenge for weather forecasting in Alabama, especially during summer.
More than the heat during summer, one of the greatest threats of summer in Alabama is the lightning strikes. A single, heavy storm can produce hundreds of lightning ground strokes that can be hazardous to humans and animals in that region.
The ‘wet microburst’ are damaging winds produced in localized areas, which have caused a severe threat to crops and cultivation. That said, tornadoes are rarely seen during summer. Although hurricanes form wind swirls, they’re often small and cause little to no damage.
The meteorological summer months can extend from June-September when temperatures can rise above 90degrees. However, the state’s locals are often comfortable with the intense temperature as they are used to the weather.
Cloud cover in Alabama
The cloud cover in the state often experiences seasonal variations over the entire year. However, during the summer, the clouds are mostly clear during the day, and around 66% of the time, it is partly cloudy, with scattered thunderstorms. On the other hand, November to May is regarded as the cloudiest months in the state, during which the sky is overcast almost 70% of the time.
Precipitation in Alabama
Most of the rainfall in the state is accompanied by thunderstorms, hurricanes, and other disturbances in the tropical region. Central and Northern Alabama generally experience the highest rainfall in November. During summer, tropical summer thunderstorms are more frequent than in the rainy season.
Environmental Hazards in Alabama
- Areas away from the Gulf experience frequent tropical thunderstorms that weaken as they move inland.
- Winter also poses specific threats to thunderstorms with frequent lightning and large hail. Alabama is the seventh largest in the world to face hazardous effects like death due to bolts of lightning strikes.
- The state experiences massive tornadoes in the northern and southern regions during the spring and fall.