Average Weather in Gulf Shores Alabama, United States
In Gulf Shores, the summers are long, hot, and oppressive; the winters are cold and windy; and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 44°F to 89°F and is rarely below 30°F or above 94°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Gulf Shores for warm-weather activities are from early April to late May and from late September to late October.
The hot season lasts for 4.0 months, from May 27 to September 26, with an average daily high temperature above 84°F. The hottest day of the year is July 23, with an average high of 89°F and low of 76°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from December 4 to March 5, with an average daily high temperature below 67°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 44°F and high of 62°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, 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 Gulf Shores, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Gulf Shores begins around September 3 and lasts for 9.4 months, ending around June 14. On October 27, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 67% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 33% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around June 14 and lasts for 2.6 months, ending around September 3. On July 21, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 62% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 38% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Gulf Shores varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 2.8 months, from June 12 to September 5, with a greater than 39% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 59% on July 28.
The drier season lasts 9.2 months, from September 5 to June 12. The smallest chance of a wet day is 20% on October 15.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 59% on July 28.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Gulf Shores experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Gulf Shores. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around July 21, with an average total accumulation of 5.8 inches.
The least rain falls around October 21, with an average total accumulation of 3.4 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The length of the day in Gulf Shores varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 10 hours, 12 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 6 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:48 AM on June 11, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 18 minutes later at 7:06 AM on November 3. The earliest sunset is at 4:49 PM on December 3, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 7 minutes later at 7:56 PM on June 30.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Gulf Shores during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
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.
Gulf Shores experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 6.5 months, from April 12 to October 27, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 27% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is August 6, with muggy conditions 98% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is January 29, with muggy conditions 3% of the time.
Humidity Comfort Levels
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 Gulf Shores experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.4 months, from September 24 to May 5, with average wind speeds of more than 9.1 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 6, with an average hourly wind speed of 11.2 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.6 months, from May 5 to September 24. The calmest day of the year is August 10, with an average hourly wind speed of 7.0 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Gulf Shores varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 4.4 months, from February 27 to July 8, with a peak percentage of 45% on June 2. The wind is most often from the east for 2.7 months, from August 22 to November 13, with a peak percentage of 43% on September 23. The wind is most often from the north for 3.5 months, from November 13 to February 27, with a peak percentage of 39% on January 1.
Gulf Shores is located near a large body of water (e.g., ocean, sea, or large lake). This section reports on the wide-area average surface temperature of that water.
The average water temperature experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The time of year with warmer water lasts for 3.9 months, from June 5 to October 3, with an average temperature above 80°F. The day of the year with the warmest water is August 10, with an average temperature of 85°F.
The time of year with cooler water lasts for 3.6 months, from December 15 to April 2, with an average temperature below 67°F. The day of the year with the coolest water is February 5, with an average temperature of 63°F.
Average Water Temperature
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Gulf Shores throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit Gulf Shores for general outdoor tourist activities are from early April to late May and from late September to late October, with a peak score in the last week of April.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best times of year to visit Gulf Shores for hot-weather activities are from early May to late June and from late August to early October, with a peak score in the first week of June.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
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 Gulf Shores typically lasts for 10 months (303 days), from around February 17 to around December 17, rarely starting before January 21 or after March 14, and rarely ending before November 18 or after January 8.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and 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.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Gulf Shores should appear around January 16, only rarely appearing before January 10 or after January 28.
Growing Degree Days
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 experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 2.5 months, from April 1 to June 18, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is May 18, with an average of 6.6 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.5 months, from November 16 to February 1, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.7 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 21, with an average of 3.0 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Gulf Shores are 30.246 deg latitude, -87.701 deg longitude, and 0 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Gulf Shores is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 33 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 3 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (75 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (299 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Gulf Shores is covered by water (51%) and artificial surfaces (35%), within 10 miles by water (64%) and cropland (13%), and within 50 miles by water (64%) and trees (16%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Gulf Shores, 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 2 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Gulf Shores.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Gulf Shores 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 Gulf Shores is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Gulf Shores and a given station.
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.
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.