Does It Snow In Alabama?

A close up of pansies growing in a planter, partially covered in fresh snow.
A close up of pansies growing in a planter, partially covered in fresh snow. Photo: Getty Images

Let it snow, let it snow—wait, is there even any chance that it might snow? If you're from Alabama, you might have spent many years wishing for a white Christmas. And while snow on Christmas day may seem like a long shot, not all hope is lost. Though many Southern states boast warmer climates—picture Charleston with its ocean breeze and palmettos, or Florida's coast with its perpetual sunshine—some areas chill off quite drastically in the wintertime, and some even get snowfall.

Certain areas of Alabama drop below freezing temperatures in the dead of winter. But that brings the question: Does it snow in Alabama? The short answer is that yes, it does snow in Alabama, but it's a rare occurrence. Certain regions of the state are more prone to snow than others.

Where Does It Snow In Alabama?

Snow is a rare occurrence in Alabama, with significant snow events occurring approximately twice a year. Certain regions of the state are more likely to see snowfall than others. Northern Alabama (including cities like Huntsville and Florence) is most likely to collect snow, followed by Central Alabama (including cities such as Birmingham and Tuscaloosa), where less than an inch tends to fall each year. The Southern region of the state (including Montgomery and Mobile) is least likely to get snow. Alabama cities north of Montgomery will typically receive a sprinkling of snow a few times a year, with moderate snowfall occurring every few years.

When Does It Snow In Alabama?

While there is a chance of a white Christmas in Alabama, the odds are slim. January is typically the coldest and snowiest month in Alabama, but mild snow events can occur from December to March. An Alabama Snow Study conducted from 1969 to 1999 showed an average of 2.8 snow events throughout the state per year, with an "event" defined as an occurrence of one inch or more of snowfall somewhere in the state.

How Much Does It Snow In Alabama?

Even when it does snow in Alabama, most snowstorms are very mild, yielding only an inch or two of snow. On average, Huntsville accumulates 1.77 inches of snowfall per year, while Birmingham and Montgomery collect less than an inch of snow per year. "Annual averages for snow in Alabama are light, ranging from 4.7" at Valley Head to 0.4" in Mobile (though most years see zero there)," notes a 2010 Alabama Climate Report. However, the state has seen some larger storms.

Alabama's heaviest recorded snowfall dates back to January 1, 1964, when 19.2 inches fell in Florence. "Unofficial reports of 24 inches of snow were noted in northwest Alabama; Huntsville reported 17.1," the report states. One particularly heavy snowstorm in March, 1993 was dubbed the "Storm of the Century," with 12 to 18 inches of snow falling across Central Alabama. This significant storm even extended to the Southern region of the state, with 3.8 inches falling in Montgomery (the city's greatest snowfall on record).

Has It Ever Snowed On Christmas In Alabama?

As it turns out, the northern and central regions of Alabama have had a white Christmas. On Christmas day in 2010, 2 to 4 inches of snow fell across the state, with areas around Huntsville receiving up to 6.5 inches of snowfall. So there is hope for a white Christmas in Alabama after all.

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