Discover the Hottest June Ever Recorded in Alabama

Written by Jennifer Geer
Published: June 2, 2023
© VladisChern/
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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Alabama’s hottest June on record was June 1914. The average temperature of this June (83.1 degrees Fahrenheit) was 5.6 degrees above the average, which is based on the recorded temperatures from 1901 to 2000.

Alabama summers tend to run hot and humid. As part of Dixie Alley (the southern states with frequent, strong tornado activity), Alabama also experiences its share of severe thunderstorms during the warm, summer months.

What Are Other Notable Heatwaves in Alabama?

Birmingham, Alabama, USA downtown city skyline.
During the summer of 1980, Birmingham recorded 49 days with a heat index of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

©Sean Pavone/

Heatwaves aren’t unexpected in Alabama. Historically, the hottest month is July, with an average temperature of 79.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The area is considered a humid subtropical climate zone, and it’s not unusual for temperatures to reach into the 90s across the state during the summer.

However, Alabama has experienced some notable heat waves, even worse than the usual summer swelter. 

Some of the hottest include the following.


June 1914 may have been a hot one, but 1925 was a doozy that began in September when the weather normally would have begun cooling off. The weather was so extreme that Alabama’s hottest temperature ever recorded happened in Centerville on September 6, 1925, when the temperature reached a steamy 112 degrees Fahrenheit. The worse thing about this heat wave was that it was before air conditioning became widespread in the state, so people had to ride out the heat without relief.


Another hot year came in 1980 when much of the southeast was blanketed by hot and humid weather. During the summer of 1980, Birmingham recorded 49 days in total with a heat index of 100 degrees or higher. Further, the heat index reached or exceeded 110 degrees eight times in July. Tragically, there were 123 heat-related deaths in Alabama during the summer of 1980.


2007 was another hot summer for Alabama, with central Alabama getting hit the hardest. According to the National Weather Service, this year not only had record heat, but severe drought conditions as well. The city of Pinson, located near Birmingham, reported 18 consecutive days of record-high temperatures. A total of 15 heat-related deaths occurred throughout the state, with 10 of those happening in Central Alabama. Area hospitals reported that nearly 700 people sought care for heat stress that summer. 

Why Did It Get So Hot?

Aerial view of Orange Beach, Alabama in November of 2021
Summers begin to heat up in Alabama from May to June when the large mass of warm, damp air (known as a maritime tropical air mass) moves north from the Gulf of Mexico into Alabama.

©Wirestock Creators/

There are generally multiple contributing factors to heat waves, and Alabama’s hot June 1914 was no exception. However, typically what brings in Alabama’s hot summers is the air coming in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama is situated on the Gulf, resulting in its warm, humid climate. Air from the Gulf can also cause severe weather patterns due to moisture-laden, warm air blowing inland. Summers begin to heat up in May to June when the large mass of warm, damp air (known as a maritime tropical air mass) moves north from the Gulf of Mexico into Alabama.

How Were People Impacted?

Although heat waves in Alabama have caused heat-related deaths and damage to crops, this was not the case in June 1914. On the contrary, 1914 produced the largest cotton crop in history. However, the Alabama economy was devastated when World War I began, and the foreign market for cotton all but disappeared. Cotton prices were driven down due to record-high crop levels and low demand. Things were so bad that this period is known as the Cotton Crisis of 1914.

Yet, other periods of extreme heat have adversely affected people living in Alabama. Some of the issues include the following.

Health Risks

June 1914 may have been the hottest June on record, but it didn’t produce the deadliest heat wave. Sadly, the summer of 1980 recorded 123 heat-related deaths. Most of them occurred during a 23-day heat wave that began in late June and lasted through early July of that year. 

The elderly who live in homes without air conditioning are the most vulnerable to heat stress during stretches of hot weather. However, with air conditioning more available today than in 1980, heat-related deaths have lowered. The more recent Alabama heat wave of 2007 resulted in 13 heat-related deaths. 

Other people vulnerable to heat-related illness are those that work outside during heat waves. 

Power Outages

Extreme temperatures put stress on power grids when the demand for electricity increases due to everyone cranking up their air conditioners. Sometimes electric companies use rolling blackouts in which power is intentionally shut off to cope with increased demand on the system. 

Water Shortages

Droughts can occur during intense heat waves. Warmer temperatures increase evaporation which can dry out the soil. Periods of no rain will create drier conditions than usual during warm temperatures. For example, during Alabama’s 2007 heat wave, the state experienced severe drought conditions. 

Infrastructure Effects

Extreme temperatures can cause roads to buckle. Very hot, sunny afternoons with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees can cause the pavement to expand, buckle, and warp.

Wildlife in Alabama

A sleuth, or group, of three American black bears (Ursus americanus), a mother bear and two of her cubs, sit in a rocky field.
American black bears are native to Alabama.

©Derek R. Audette/

Alabama is full of a diversity of wildlife in various habitats from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, to marshes and lakes, to forestlands in the lower Appalachian mountains

Some notable species of animals you can find in Alabama include:

How Are Animals and Plants Affected by Heat?

Drought Impact on Corn Crops
Extreme heat stresses plants and dries the soil.

© toker

People and infrastructure aren’t the only ones affected by extreme heat waves. Animals and plants also feel the effects of hot weather. When temperatures soar, and the humidity is high, animals struggle to cool themselves. An animal’s interior temperatures can heat up intensely. 


Trees may drop their leaves prematurely to conserve water, while small ponds and waterways can dry up, leaving the aquatic creatures without their habitat. Green vegetation can die off, turning brown and dry.


Heat waves can kill off the plants that many insects, like caterpillars and butterflies, feed on, causing insects to struggle to find food and shelter.


Heat waves and droughts are devastating to crops. Heat waves cause a decrease in crop yield, affecting Alabama’s top crops, including cotton, corn, hay, peanuts, and soybeans.

Small Animals and Birds

Smaller animals, such as amphibians and birds, have a harder time regulating their body temperature than larger mammals and are more susceptible to extreme heat.

Wildfires Can Damage Habitats

Droughts during heat waves can create hazardous conditions for forestland and animal habitats. During the 2007 heat wave and drought, 3,368 wildland fires occurred, with over 64,000 acres burning. 

Lessons Learned From Previous Heat Waves

Woman protect herself from the hot sun while walks in a downtown street during an extreme heatwave in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Alabama Public Health Department educates the public on how to avoid heat-related illnesses by taking preventative measures.

©Nelson Antoine/

Due to the extreme temperatures that can hit Alabama, officials have programs in place to prepare for future weather events.


The Alabama Public Health Department educates the public on how to avoid heat-related illnesses by taking preventative measures. These include drinking plenty of fluids, staying in air conditioning during hot spells, and never leaving pets or people in parked vehicles. 

Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program (ADECA)

ADECA is a program in Alabama that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program helps low-income households with weatherization assistance across the state.

The program audits the energy requirements of homes to determine the most cost-effective means to reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the program conducts health and safety checks on the home.

The Featured Image

Heat, thermometer shows the temperature is hot in the sky, Summer
© VladisChern/

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About the Author

Jennifer is a professional writer living in the Chicago area. She owns two pugs. Or rather, they own her. Jennifer has discovered that her best writing happens against a backdrop of soft pug snores.

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