The Alabama Climate Report

Brought to you by the Office of the Alabama
Climatologist

Volume 5, Number 8 May 2015

Perhaps the most interesting thing we can say about the weather Alabama saw in May is about the weather we didn't see, which is to say the significant rain that fell just to our west.
 
We've seen the reports about the significant flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, but somewhat less about the heavy rainfall in Arkansas and Louisiana. It seems the worst of that rain dropped off in Mississippi, with only remnants left to sprinkle over Alabama.
 
Some of the rainfall amounts from May are staggering. The Weather Service station in Oklahoma City recorded 19.48 inches of rain for the month. Just across the line, Wichita Falls, TX, recorded 17 inches of rain, while south of Dallas the Camp Mabry station in Austin recorded 17.59 inches for the month.
 
The attached map shows a broad area of Oklahoma, north Texas and Arkansas, where more than 20 inches of rain were recorded by radar and other instruments.
 
But the worst of that didn't cross the Mississippi River. Shreveport got 10.97 inches and Baton Rouge 11.17, but that fell off to 7.06 inches by the time it got to Jackson, MS, and only 2.16 inches in Meridian, MS. (Although Tupelo got 9.09 inches.)
 
Mobile got 8 inches of rain in May, which was almost 3 inches more than normal for the month. Decatur reported a couple of flash flooding incidents, but saw only 5.95 inches of rain — about an inch and a half more than normal for the month.
 
Other May rainfall across the state shows how spotty things were this far east:
 
Tuscaloosa             2.32"  (- 1.66")
Anniston                2.53"  (- 1.73")
Birmingham             2.56"  (- 2.43")
Auburn                   2.77"  (M)
Troy                      3.09"  (- 0.59")
Muscle Shoals         4.21"  (- 0.91")
Montgomery           4.34"  (+0.80")
Huntsville               5.08"  (- 0.03")
Gadsden                5.42"  (M)
Dothan                  5.42"  (+ 1.86)

- John Christy