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January Almanac

The month of January ranks as the coldest one of the year as daytime highs average 54ºF-56ºF from the start to the end of the month, with lows averaging from as low as 35ºF-36ºF. The coldest all-time reading recorded at the Birmingham Airport was -6ºF set back on January 21st, 1985. However, it can be mighty warm as well, as the Magic City hit 81ºF on January 10th, 1949.

January ranks as the fourth-wettest month of the year as the average is around 5.03 inches. Only March, April, and July average more rainfall than January. The wettest January on record was set back in 1937 when 13.37 inches fell on the Magic City. Rain generally falls on eleven days of the month, with thunder generally occurring on two of the days.

The sky is cloudy around 59% of the time on average, which makes January the cloudiest month of the year. It is also the foggiest month as dense fog is reported on 1.3 days on average.

Birmingham receives approximately 1.3 inches of snow per year, with 0.4 inches of that falling in January. Back in 1936, 11.8 inches fell on the Magic City during the first month, which is the second-highest monthly snowfall total officially recorded at the Birmingham Airport. That is only behind the famous “Blizzard of ‘93,” which totaled 13.0 inches. An inch of snow or more falls generally every five years or so in Birmingham during the month of January.

All records used are from the Birmingham Airport from the years of 1930-2021 (total of 91 years), and from Fountain Heights prior to 1930. Averages are from the 1991-2020 Climate Averages from NOAA.