BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — 2021 started out relatively dry across central Alabama with Birmingham racking up a rainfall deficit of over 2 inches in the first two months of the year. However, by March, rainfall started to pick up.
The 9.59 inches of rain in Birmingham that month was 15th wettest March on record in the city, and those records go back to 1895. The summer really stands out as incredibly rainy. We’re usually averaging around 4.25-5.25 inches of rain from May to August, but we saw the third rainiest meteorological summer (June 1st to August 31st) on record in Birmingham, totaling nearly 25 inches in the three month span. From May to August, Birmingham’s summer months ranked as the 21st, 6th, 13th, and 15th rainiest iteration of each of those months.
On average, October is typically Birmingham’s driest month. We only average 1.96 inches of rain in the city for the month, but 2021 brought an intense flash flood to the city, blowing well past the monthly average in a few hours.
Significant flooding occurred from Northeast Alabama to Calera, with the worst flooding occurring in Jefferson, Shelby, Marshall, Jackson, DeKalb, and Madison counties.
That day helped launch Birmingham to its 4th wettest October on record, marking the second time we’d get over 9 inches of rain in a month in 2021.
All that rain over the course of 2021 led Birmingham to its 8th wettest year on record. Tuscaloosa also saw an incredibly rainy 2021, with rainfall climbing 16 and a quarter inches above average for the year. Anniston saw the same rainy weather over the course of the summer, recording over 10 and a half inches in June, but a drier start and end to the year kept rainfall totals for the year a bit below average.