October Almanac

Photograph by Kathy Bell, owner of kbella photography.

October is arguably the nicest month for weather in Central Alabama. Of course, our perception of what is nice lately has changed. A slow day-long soaking rain is probably the most beautiful weather I can think of right now.

October ranks as the driest month in Birmingham with an average 3.23 inches of rainfall in the month. 11.90 inches fell in October 1995, thanks to Hurricane Opal. Four Octobers have been completely dry, including 1897, 1899, 1901 and 1924.

Temperatures will really start to fall off in the month ahead as the heat budget continues to become more negative as daily sunlight continues to decrease in both duration and sky angle. The average high today is 80F, but that will fall to 70F by the end of the month. The average low for today is 58F, but that too will fall to 46F by Halloween.

Birmingham’s earliest recorded freeze occurred on October 18, 1948. The coldest it has ever been in the Magic City in any October is 27F on October 28, 1957 and October 29, 1952. Three 94F readings have been recorded, all early in the month.

On average, it rains six days in the month and thunderstorms occur on only one day. It is one of the sunnier months with cloudy conditions only 24% of the time. The sky is clear 38.8 percent of the time, which makes October by far the month with the greatest amount of clear skies.

– Bill Murray

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