Widely known as the Heart of Dixie, Alabama is one of the states that makes up the American South. Located between Georgia in the east and Mississippi in the west, Alabama also borders the Gulf of Mexico in the south. Huntsville, Mobile, and Birmingham are some of the state’s largest and most important cities. Interspersed among the urban areas are thousands of miles of waterways and wetlands. The southern half of the state is chock full of American alligators, as well as snakes, turtles, and other water-loving creatures. While not generally known for its cold temperatures, there is one city that takes the title of coldest place in Alabama.
Here, we’ll discover just where the coldest place, or places, in the state are. Then, we’ll find out the coldest temperature ever recorded in Alabama. We’ll also explore what winters in this southern state look like. After that, we’ll take a closer look at the city with the coldest average temperature, and what there is to do there.
The Coldest Place in Alabama
Measuring by average maximum temperature, the coldest place in Alabama is Huntsville. Huntsville’s average maximum temperature is just 61 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also the least rainy city in Alabama, with an average annual rainfall of only 22 inches. For comparison, Mobile gets an average of 76 inches of rain annually. Winters in Alabama generally last from early December to mid-march. The coldest temperatures of the year occur in January and February. Other notable cold places in the state include Decatur, Bridgeport, Valley Head, Gadsden, Muscle Shoals, Anderson, and the Sand Mountain substation.
Alabama’s Coldest Recorded Temperature
The coldest day in Alabama’s recorded history was in February 1899 in New Market, just north of Huntsville. It might seem impossible, given that Alabama’s climate is classified as subtropical humid, but temperatures do very occasionally dip below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Alabama is an astounding -27 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does It Snow in Alabama?
Alabama isn’t known for its snow; don’t go there looking for ski resorts. In fact, Alabama is better known for its hot summers, mild winters, and heavy rainfall. The state gets an average of just 1-2 inches of snow per year. Given that Alabama sits in a subtropical climate, this is no surprise.
Nicknamed “the Rocket City,” Huntsville was the first capital of the state of Alabama way back in 1819. Today, Huntsville is not only the coldest place in Alabama but also the most populous. Straddling three counties, Huntsville is a sprawling metropolis of over 200,000 people in the northern part of the state. It’s famously home to the Marshall Space Flight Center, as well as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Huntsville is also home to a staggering amount of historical homes and buildings. Interestingly, because of the plethora of caves in the vicinity of the city, the National Speleological Society also calls Huntsville home.
Are There Tornadoes in Huntsville?
For the most part, Huntsville, and the surrounding towns, experience mild, rainy weather for much of the year. But, northern Alabama lies within “Dixie Alley,” an area known for its dangerous, extreme tornadoes. Tornadoes typically occur in the spring or fall, and can cause extraordinary damage and destruction to everything they touch. Huntsville is no exception to tornadoes. Some of the worst tornadoes in the area’s history occurred during the 1974 and 2011 Super Outbreaks. Huntsville also occasionally feels the lingering effects of Tropical Storms from the coast.
Things To Do in Huntsville: Urban
If you’re a fan of history, then Huntsville is the place for you. Some of the city’s most popular museums include the Cook Museum of Natural Science, the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, the North Alabama Railroad Museum, and the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum. Plant lovers will also want to check out the Huntsville Botanical Garden.
If you want to explore some of the city’s parks, be sure to check out Big Spring International Park, and Burritt on the Mountain. Both offer tons of walking and sightseeing, both for kids and adults. And, of course, don’t forget to stop by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Further, if you’re into art, check out the Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment center; it’s located in what was once a textile mill.
Things To Do in Huntsville: Outdoors
Huntsville is surrounded by beautiful natural lands. If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, visit between mid march and November to avoid the cold in the coldest place in Alabama. Nearby outdoor attractions include Cathedral Caverns State Park, Monte Sano State Park, Cloudland Canyon State Park, Desoto State Park, and Little River Canyon National Preserve. Whether you’re looking for hiking, camping, or just plain nature walking, the area around Huntsville has plenty to do for people of all ages.
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- , Available here: https://www.crownscience.org/places/alabama-us
- , Available here: https://www.huntsville.org/