National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


2014 Central Alabama - The Year in Review

Table of Contents 

2014 Headline Stories 

Drought Conditions 

2014 Ends on a an Almost Normal Note

After a prolonged drought from 2010 through the beginning of 2013, conditions across Central Alabama improved greatly with most of the area receiving above normal precipitation in the second half of 2013. Therefore, 2014 started off with a few areas Abnormally Dry to no Drought conditions at all.

Generally at or above normal precipitation continued the first half of 2014. This rainfall allowed conditions to hold with no Drought to only a few small areas that were Abnormally Dry.  Below normal precipitation dominated Central Alabama for much of the second half of 2014. Subnormal precipitation persisted across the southern and western sections of the Southeast (especially the central Gulf Coast region) up until late December, while near to above normal totals had fallen on most areas to the north and east. With low rainfall amounts during the 90 days leading up to the last week of December, combined with relatively large precipitation normals, short-term deficits quickly accumulated. The greatest deficiencies were concentrated along the central Gulf Coast (southern sections of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, extreme western Florida Panhandle) where 6-12 inch deficits were found at 90-days. This deficit put parts of Central Alabama back into D1 Drought conditions while a large part of the remainder of the area was Abnormally Dry.  Thankfully, there were two heavy rainfall events between Dec 23rd and Dec 29th. Rainfall totals for each event were generally in the 1-4 inch range, with some higher localized amounts. These amounts helped improve drough conditions in many areas, with only portions of Central Alabama (most notably the southeast) in Abnormally Dry status at the end of the year.

The forecast into 2015 calls for equal chances of above or below normal precipitation. If these near normal conditions do materialize, it appears the Drought conditions may improve through March.

Below are the Drought Conditions each month in 2014

January 7 2014 February 4 2014 March 4 2014

April 1 2014 May 6 2014 June 6 2014

July 1 2014 August 5 2014 September 2 2014

October 7 2014 November 4 2014 December 30 2014

Additional Drought Information can be found at the following links:

Flooding, Flash Flooding, River Flooding & Precipitation
A Mostly Normal 2014…with Most of the Significant Flooding Limited to April.

The hydrologic story for 2014 was one of generally near to below normal rainfall for much of Central Alabama, although localized areas received above normal amounts. This resulted in a relatively quiet year flood-wise, although April was an exception as above normal, widespread rainfall produced significant flooding that month. Yearly rainfall totals averaged between forty eight and sixty two inches across Central Alabama, with locally higher amounts reported.

The year began relatively quietly as near normal rainfall occurred from January through March, with only a few episodes of moderate rises noted on area rivers. However, things changed quickly in April as well above normal rainfall fell across Central Alabama and produced flooding in many areas during the month.

The most significant flooding in April occurred following widespread heavy rainfall of four to eight inches that occurred from the 5th to the 8th. This heavy rainfall produced significant to widespread flash flooding across Central Alabama on the 6th and 7th. Widespread severe flash flooding occurred in portions of Jefferson and Shelby counties, with at least 79 homes suffering flood damage in portions of Pelham, Indian Springs Village, Wilsonville, Alabaster and along Highway 119 in Shelby County. Numerous evacuations and high water rescues were necessary, with 120 water rescues required in Homewood from the Lakeshore Garden Apartments. Seventy nine luxury cars were reportedly lost from a Vestavia Hills car dealership near Patton Creek. In Greensboro in Hale County, some homes were flooded as well as in Opelika in Lee County. Many rural roads in Lamar County became flooded and impassable.

In addition to flash flooding, widespread river flooding occurred on most area rivers. Out of nineteen National Weather Service River Forecast Points, seventeen went into flood. Five of these forecast points experienced moderate flooding including the Sucarnoochee River at Livingston, the Cahaba River near Cahaba Heights, the Tombigbee River at the Demopolis Lock and Dam, Catoma Creek at the US 331 Highway Bridge near Montgomery and Village Creek at Avenue W in Ensley.

Livingston - Sucarnoochee River Cahaba Heights - Cahaba River

US 31 Bridge - Catoma Creek Ensley - Village Creek

Fairly normal rainfall returned to Central Alabama in May, and continued through August as typical summertime thunderstorms produced localized heavy downpours with isolated, mainly nuisance type flooding observed. September saw generally below normal rainfall across the area, and this led to the development of moderate drought across portions of Central Alabama. Despite fairly normal rainfall throughout the remainder of the fall and into the early winter season, in December, moderate drought persisted in some central portions of Central Alabama. However, heavy rainfall around and just after Christmas brought significant improvement in the drought conditions as the year ended.

PDF version can be found...Here.

Data supplied by the NWS BMX. Additional Flood Information can be found at the following links:


2014 Precipitation Totals 2014 Precipitation Extremes

Yearly Maximum Precipitation Totals Yearly Minimum Precipitation Totals

2014 Rainfall Totals Available Soon

2014 Rainfall Departures Available Soon

2014 Total Rainfall 2014 Rainfall Departure

January Total Rainfall February Total Rainfall March Total Rainfall

April Total Rainfall May Total Rainfall June Total Rainfall

July Total Rainfall August Total Rainfall September Total Rainfall

Available Soon

October Total Rainfall November Total Rainfall December Total Rainfall
Severe Weather

Preliminary Severe Weather Numbers for Alabama & Central Alabama in 2014:

Alabama Tornadoes



Central Alabama Tornadoes


Statewide Tornado GIS Map Available Soon


Data supplied by the NWS BMX. Additional information on severe weather and storm surveys can be found at the following links:


Tropical Weather

The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be remembered as a relatively quiet season as was predicted. The 2014 season produced 8 named storms, of which 6 became hurricanes. Two of the hurricanes reached major hurricane status. There was also one Tropical Depression that formed but this system did not reach Tropical Storm strength. Based on the 30 year climatology, the Atlantic Basin has an average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. Therefore, the number of named storms was below the normal expected. But the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes was very close to normal.  None of these storms impacted Central Alabama.



National Hurricane Center 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Summary

NOAA 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Summary

Data provided by the NWS BMX and NHC.


Temperature Extremes