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Average Weather in December in Birmingham Alabama, United States

In Birmingham, the month of December is characterized by falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing by 6°F, from 60°F to 54°F over the course of the month, and rarely exceeding 72°F or dropping below 40°F.

Daily low temperatures decrease by 5°F, from 42°F to 37°F, rarely falling below 22°F or exceeding 57°F.

For reference, on July 23, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Birmingham typically range from 72°F to 90°F, while on January 17, the coldest day of the year, they range from 36°F to 54°F.

Average High and Low Temperature in December

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on December. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature in December

Average Hourly Temperature in December in Birmingham18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMNovJancoolcoldvery coldvery coldcomfortable
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < very cold < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Tepehan, Turkey (6,388 miles away) and Baiyun, China (7,998 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Birmingham (view comparison).

Clouds

The month of December in Birmingham experiences gradually increasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy increasing from 47% to 53%.

The clearest day of the month is December 1, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 53% of the time.

For reference, on January 5, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 54%, while on October 12, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 67%.

Cloud Cover Categories in December

Cloud Cover Categories in December in Birmingham1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%NovJanDec 153%Dec 153%Dec 3147%Dec 3147%Dec 1150%Dec 1150%Dec 2147%Dec 2147%clearovercastmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudy
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Birmingham, the chance of a wet day over the course of December is essentially constant, remaining around 30% throughout.

For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 44% on July 9, and its lowest chance is 20% on October 8.

Probability of Precipitation in December

The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the month and not just the monthly total, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.

The average sliding 31-day rainfall during December in Birmingham is gradually decreasing, starting the month at 4.6 inches, when it rarely exceeds 7.5 inches or falls below 1.9 inches, and ending the month at 4.4 inches, when it rarely exceeds 7.7 inches or falls below 1.8 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall in December

The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Sun

Over the course of December in Birmingham, the length of the day is essentially constant. The shortest day of the month is December 21, with 9 hours, 56 minutes of daylight and the longest day is December 1, with 10 hours, 6 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in December

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in December in Birmingham1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310 hr24 hr4 hr20 hr8 hr16 hr12 hr12 hr16 hr8 hr20 hr4 hr24 hr0 hrNovJanDec 219 hr, 56 minDec 219 hr, 56 minnightnightdaydayDec 110 hr, 6 minDec 110 hr, 6 min
The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise of the month in Birmingham is 6:33 AM on December 1 and the latest sunrise is 18 minutes later at 6:51 AM on December 31.

The earliest sunset is 4:38 PM on December 4 and the latest sunset is 11 minutes later at 4:49 PM on December 31.

Daylight saving time is observed in Birmingham during 2017, but it neither starts nor ends during December, so the entire month is in standard time.

For reference, on June 21, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 5:37 AM and sets 14 hours, 23 minutes later, at 8:00 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 6:47 AM and sets 9 hours, 56 minutes later, at 4:43 PM.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in December

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in December in Birmingham18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMNovJan6:33 AM6:33 AMDec 14:39 PMDec 14:39 PM6:51 AM6:51 AMDec 314:49 PMDec 314:49 PM6:41 AM6:41 AMDec 114:39 PMDec 114:39 PM6:47 AM6:47 AMDec 214:43 PMDec 214:43 PMSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of December. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The chance that a given day will be muggy in Birmingham is essentially constant during December, remaining around 1% throughout.

For reference, on July 25, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 90% of the time, while on January 16, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.

Humidity Comfort Levels in December

Humidity Comfort Levels in December in Birmingham1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%NovJanDec 11%Dec 11%Dec 311%Dec 311%Dec 111%Dec 111%Dec 211%Dec 211%drydryhumidhumidcomfortablecomfortablemuggymuggy
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Birmingham is essentially constant during December, remaining within 0.1 miles per hour of 4.6 miles per hour throughout.

For reference, on February 26, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 5.2 miles per hour, while on July 28, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 3.1 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed in December

The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.
The wind direction in Birmingham during December is predominantly out of the south from December 1 to December 17 and the north from December 17 to December 31.

Wind Direction in December

Wind Direction in December in BirminghamNSN1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%NovJansouthnortheastwest
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Birmingham typically lasts for 7.7 months (235 days), from around March 23 to around November 13, rarely starting before February 26 or after April 15, and rarely ending before October 25 or after December 1.

The month of December in Birmingham is more likely than not fully outside of the growing season, with the chance that a given day is in the growing season reaching a low of -0% on December 25.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in December

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in December in Birmingham1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%NovJanDec 110%Dec 110%Dec 31-0%Dec 31-0%Dec 112%Dec 112%Dec 21-0%Dec 21-0%50%Nov 1350%Nov 13very coldcoldfreezingcoolcomfortablewarm
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < very cold < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

The average accumulated growing degree days in Birmingham are gradually increasing during December, increasing by 112°F, from 5,436°F to 5,548°F, over the course of the month.

Growing Degree Days in December

The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of December, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Birmingham is essentially constant during December, remaining within 0.2 kWh of 2.7 kWh throughout.

The lowest average daily incident shortwave solar energy during December is 2.5 kWh on December 25.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in December

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in December in Birmingham1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0 kWh0.5 kWh1.0 kWh1.5 kWh2.0 kWh2.5 kWh3.0 kWh3.5 kWh4.0 kWh4.5 kWh5.0 kWhNovJanDec 252.5 kWhDec 252.5 kWhDec 12.8 kWhDec 12.8 kWhDec 112.6 kWhDec 112.6 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Birmingham are 33.521 deg latitude, -86.802 deg longitude, and 610 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Birmingham contains significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 594 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 621 feet. Within 10 miles contains significant variations in elevation (883 feet). Within 50 miles also contains very significant variations in elevation (1,781 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Birmingham is covered by artificial surfaces (100%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (65%) and trees (31%), and within 50 miles by trees (70%) and cropland (15%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Birmingham year round, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 4 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Birmingham.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Birmingham according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Birmingham is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Birmingham and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport (87%, 7 kilometers, northeast); Shelby County Airport (7%, 38 kilometers, south); Walker County Airport-Bevill Field (3.4%, 64 kilometers, northwest); and Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport (2.2%, 83 kilometers, southwest).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.

Disclaimer

The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.