The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama

Volume 4, Number 6, March 2014

How could March have felt so very cold when the monthly average temperature was less than three degrees cooler than normal? Three degrees doesn't sound like much, especially when so many people in Alabama felt so cold.

Part of the problem is that old average thing. Three days of temperatures 33 degrees hotter than normal, followed by four days of temperatures 25 degrees colder than normal means that, on average, we had a pretty normal week.

And so it was in Alabama. If we look at the National Weather Service stations around the state, we see that most of us saw more cooler than normal days than warmer. Some of those cooler days were downright cold, based on what's normal for Alabama.

Decatur and Huntsville each had seven days in March when the average temperature was at least 10 degrees colder than normal. Mobile saw only ten days in March when temperatures were at or warmer than normal, and one day was 23 degrees colder than the seasonal norm!

Feeling the March Chill

  Days at/warmer than normal At least 10° below normal Coldest compared to normal
Mobile 10 5 -23°
Anniston 11 4 -16°
Birmingham 11 5 -17° (twice)
Huntsville 11 7 -17°
Decature 12 7 -18°
Montgomery 12 4 -16°
Tuscaloosa 12 3 -18°
Dothan 13 3 -16°
Muscle Shoals 14 5 -18°
Troy 14 2 -18°

Another thing that will make an impression is a sudden change in temperature. In Muscle Shoals, for instance, between March 2 and 3 the daytime high temperature dropped 37 degrees. On the same days in Decatur, the daytime high dropped 35 degrees, and 32 degrees in Huntsville.


Maybe April will be a little kinder, although April is a month filled with tension for people in Alabama who watch the weather. Be especially weather aware and prepared for the next couple of months.

- John Christy