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Alabama ranks 23rd in population in the United States with 4.7 million residents in 2009. Like many Southern states during the American Civil War until World War II; Alabama suffered hardships economically partially beacuse of its continued dependence on argriculture. After World War II, the state of Alabama experienced major growth as the economy of the state transitioned from agriculture to many diverse interests in manufacturing, mineral extraction, education and technology.
Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowshammer State (unofficially) named after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie". Agriculturally, Alabama is known as "The Cotton State", falling between 8th and 10th in the nation's cotton production.
French colonists founded Mobile, Alabama; making it the oldest city in the state. Montgomery is the capital. Birmingham has the largest population as a city. Huntsville comes in as the largest city measured by land area. Just outside the town of Jemison is Chilton County; the center of population of Alabama.
Annual average temperature is 64 degrees, although in the southern part of the state near the Gulf of Mexico temperatures tend to be warmer, while in the northern parts, especiall near the Appalachian Mountains, the temperatures tend to be much cooler. The subtropical humid climate brings some of the hottest summers in the United States to Alabama. High temperatures usually averaging over 90 degrees throughout the state. Generally the state has very hot summers and mild winters. Tropical storms and hurricanes occur in the areas of the state closest to the Gulf, keep in mind that other areas that are far away from the Gulf can still recieve effects of the storms. Mobile Bay also reports many thunderstorms in and around South Alabama and the Gulf Coast. The severe weather during the spring months bring thunderstorms average to 70 and 80 days per year that thunder is reported and has the most reported EF5 tornadoes than any other state except for Kansas. Tornadoes season peak varies from the northern to the southern parts of the state although, Alabama is one of the few places in the world that a secondary tornado season occurs during the months of Novemeber and December. Alabama has generally mild winters just as they are throughout many of the southeastern states. The average low temperature in January is around 40 degrees in Mobile and around 32 degrees in Birmingham. Alabama's snowfall is a pretty rare event, any areas of Alabama north of Montgomery can recieve an occasional dust of snow a few times in the winter months, with occasional steady snowfall occurring every few years.