Average Weather in Birmingham Alabama, United States
In Birmingham, the summers are long, hot, and muggy; the winters are short, cold, and wet; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 36°F to 90°F and is rarely below 21°F or above 97°F.
The hot season lasts for 3.9 months, from May 24 to September 22, with an average daily high temperature above 83°F. The hottest day of the year is July 22, with an average high of 90°F and low of 72°F.
The cool season lasts for 2.9 months, from November 28 to February 24, with an average daily high temperature below 61°F. The coldest day of the year is January 17, with an average low of 36°F and high of 54°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 Birmingham, 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 Birmingham begins around July 13 and lasts for 4.4 months, ending around November 24. On October 12, 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 November 24 and lasts for 7.6 months, ending around July 13. On January 5, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 54% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 46% of the time.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Birmingham varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.8 months, from March 29 to August 24, with a greater than 32% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 44% on July 9.
The drier season lasts 7.2 months, from August 24 to March 29. The smallest chance of a wet day is 20% on October 8.
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 44% on July 9.
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. Birmingham experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Birmingham. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around February 28, with an average total accumulation of 5.1 inches.
The least rain falls around August 23, with an average total accumulation of 2.9 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in Birmingham does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Birmingham varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 9 hours, 56 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 14 hours, 23 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:36 AM on June 11, and the latest sunrise is 1 hour, 32 minutes later at 7:08 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:38 PM on December 4, and the latest sunset is 3 hours, 22 minutes later at 8:01 PM on June 29.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Birmingham during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.
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.
Birmingham experiences extreme seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 4.6 months, from May 14 to October 2, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 23% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 25, with muggy conditions 89% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is January 14, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
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 Birmingham experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 7.3 months, from October 7 to May 15, with average wind speeds of more than 2.2 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is February 26, with an average hourly wind speed of 2.8 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 4.7 months, from May 15 to October 7. The calmest day of the year is July 29, with an average hourly wind speed of 1.7 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Birmingham varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 4.4 months, from February 26 to July 8; for 3.6 weeks, from July 25 to August 19; and for 1.3 months, from November 11 to December 19, with a peak percentage of 45% on May 4. The wind is most often from the east for 1.5 months, from August 19 to October 4, with a peak percentage of 36% on September 15. The wind is most often from the north for 1.2 months, from October 4 to November 11 and for 2.2 months, from December 19 to February 26, with a peak percentage of 33% on October 12.
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 4.7 months, from April 8 to August 31, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.8 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 5, with an average of 6.6 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 2.7 months, from November 13 to February 4, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 3.4 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 24, with an average of 2.5 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
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%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Birmingham, 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 3 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 (90%, 7 kilometers, northeast); Shelby County Airport (8%, 38 kilometers, south); and Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport (2.3%, 83 kilometers, southwest).
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.