Alabama has a humid subtropical climate, with short, relatively mild winters and long warm summers. Temperature differences between the coastal and inland areas, however, are small. January averages range from about 11°C (57°F) at Mobile to about 7°C (44°F) at Birmingham. July averages are in the upper 20°s C (low 80°s F) at Mobile and at Birmingham. Very low or very high temperatures are unusual. The growing season, the period between the last killing frost of spring and the first killing frost of fall, ranges from about 200 days in the north to more than 300 days in the southwest. During the summer, daytime temperatures are frequently in the upper 20°s C (mid-80°s F) or higher and afternoon thundershowers are common. In winter, mild humid air masses from the gulf alternate with cold air masses from the north. Snow occasionally falls in the north.
Rainfall is plentiful, ranging annually from about 1,350 mm (about 53 in) in the north to more than 1,730 mm (68 in) in the southwest. Most rainfall occurs in winter and early spring, but a second wet season occurs in July, owing primarily to thunderstorms. Tropical cyclones and, in some years, severe hurricanes are a threat to the coastal areas in summer. Winds, floods, and high tides accompanying the storms can cause considerable damage to crops and property. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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