Rain Record Watch – Coming Down to the Wire

| December 30, 2007 @ 9:09 am | 6 Replies

I started writing about the possibility that 2007 could be the driest year on record since the records began back in 1895 about a week ago. And this sure illustrates why I shouldn’t bet on anything. When I first wrote, there were three rainfall events ahead of us, so it just seemed almost impossible that 2007 would not rise to the second driest year on record. Well, it’s coming down to the wire.

Here are the facts at this writing at just after 9:00 am on Sunday, December 30th.

  • All available radars show that the rain has ended at the Birmingham Airport.
  • Total rainfall from this event was 0.47″ as of the 9 am observation.
  • The rainfall reported for the Birmingham airport as of December 29th was 28.39″.
  • The unofficial total through 9 am this morning is 28.86″.

So here is how we stand – unofficially, of course.

Year Rainfall
2007 28.86″ (unofficial)
1895 29.00″
1896 34.00″
1904 34.32″
1931 36.14″

So, unofficially, 2007 appears ready to knock off 1895 as the driest year in weather history for Birmingham and Central Alabama. A quick peek at radar showed that the rain may not be over yet. Time lapse of the WSR-88D out of Shelby County showed an area of rain in the vicinity of Meridian, MS, that quite possibly could affect the Birmingham airport. Plus any additional rain development that might occur that is not currently on the radar.

Thus, the Rain Record Watch continues as we head right down to the final gun. Almost as exciting as a photo finish Nascar race or a last second hail Mary pass in a football game.


PS In an earlier post on this topic, I made note of 118 years of weather records. That should have been 113 years of weather records. The weather records I reference come from the National Weather Service, Birmingham office, and go back to 1895. Got too many 8s running around in my head.


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Category: Pre-November 2010 Posts

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Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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  1. gail says:

    What is the 2008 weather outlook for Alabama? Any drought relief insight?

  2. Brian Peters says:

    Hey, Gail. I looked over the long range predictions from the Climate Prediction Center made as of December 20, 2007, and they appear normal to below normal for the next year, looking only at the discrete time periods for every three months. I know that the pattern can shift, sometimes abruptly, but at least in a statistical sense, there does not appear to be any significant signs of returning to more than something near normal or typical for the Southeast US and Alabama. Of course, normal would seem wet after the year we’ve had.


  3. Bill in Vigo says:

    Rain total for Vigo on the 30th is 0.85 inches might just be enough to break the tie……….. i think we were lower than Birming ham anyway so probably not enough to change the standings.


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