Fall Color

February 2009

Signup to receive newsletters

North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers recent weather conditions across our state, a drought review, and the SCO's Groundhog Day festivities at the Museum of Natural Sciences.
PDF version available for printing.

 

Cold, Dry in the East

Most of North Carolina was cold and dry during January 2009. In particular, temperatures in central and eastern NC were between 0.5F and 1.5F below normal. These same regions were also drier than the mountain regions with precipitation observations typically only 55%-70% of normal. The entire state experienced several cold air outbreaks, including bitter temperatures on January 16-17 and 21, and substantial snowfall on January 20.

Departures from Normal
Temperature and Precipitation by climate division
Departures from Normal for January 2009 - based on preliminary data.


January 20, 2009 Snowstorm
Snowfall accumulations from the January 20, 2009 storm
Courtesy of the National Weather Service

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

Despite the relatively dry conditions across central and eastern NC in January, impacts to water resources and agriculture were minimal. Topsoil moisture is adequate for the winter grains that are still in production, and precipitation from previous months in central and eastern NC has prevented negative impacts to water supply systems in those regions. This pattern is shown in the lack of change in the US Drought Monitor depictions for NC. While stream flow and groundwater levels continue to be quite low for this time of the year in western NC, low demand for water resources has so far kept water supply systems from experiencing problems.

 

Change in US Drought Monitoring Status during January 2009
Provided by the NC DENR Division of Water Resources

January 2009 Drought

 

Groundhog Day

Sir Walter WallyOn February 2, 2009, the State Climate Office celebrated Groundhog Day with the Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, NC. Meteorologist Ashley Frazier and graduate student Heather Dinon presented to kids and parents on common animal folklore and various instruments used to monitor weather. Experiments demonstrating the strength of our atmosphere, the formation of clouds, and updrafts, were the hit of the show. And who could forget the museum's infamous thunderstorm? Many thanks go out to Mary Fore, the museum's audio/visual crew, and the wonderful audience for helping us make the presentation such a huge success.

In continuing our collaboration with the museum, the State Climate Office of North Carolina has created a groundhog climatology depicting how our furry friend’s predictions have faired for various cities across the state of North Carolina. This page shows not only how accurate Sir Walter Wally’s forecasts have been in the past, but keeps up with the current year as the six-week period progresses. Average temperatures are calculated for each week, and are compared to the normal temperatures for the same time period. Positive temperature differences suggest temperatures are above normal (warmer weather), while negative temperature differences suggest below normal temperatures (cooler weather).

Information describing other animal and weather folklore are included on the groundhog climatology page beneath the section for Sir Walter Wally’s forecast record. Also provided are the most recent satellite and radar images over the southeastern U.S., and the Climate Prediction Center’s climate outlook over the next few months.

In addition, our office has recently put together a holiday climatology page containing historical summaries of temperature and precipitation from NWS Cooperative stations across NC. Below are the warmest, coolest, and wettest Groundhog Days on record for a few selected stations in our state.

Station Warmest Groundhog Day Coldest Groundhog Day Wettest Groundhog Day
Asheville WSO Airport (310300) February 2, 1989
Max Temp: 75.9°F
Min Temp: 41°F
February 2, 1951
Max Temp: 19.9°F
Min Temp: 7°F
February 2, 1983
2.18 inches
Cape Hatteras Billy Mitchell Field (311458) February 2, 1989
Max Temp: 73.9°F
Min Temp: 60.1°F
February 2, 1971
Max Temp: 28.9°F
Min Temp: 21°F
February 2, 1972
2.68 inches
Charlotte Douglas Airport (311690) February 2, 1989
Max Temp: 80.1°F
Min Temp: 55.9°F
February 2, 1971
Max Temp: 33.1°F
Min Temp: 12.9°F
February 2, 1973
2.3 inches
Fayetteville PWC (313017) February 2, 1923
Max Temp: 78.1°F
Min Temp: 61°F
February 2, 1980
Max Temp: 32°F
Min Temp: 17.1°F
February 2, 1973
1.82 inches
Goldsboro 4 SE (313510) February 2, 1990
Max Temp: 80.1°F
Min Temp: 55°F
February 2, 1994
Max Temp: 34°F
Min Temp: 25°F
February 2, 1996
1.16 inches
Greensboro WSO Airport (313630) February 2, 1988
Max Temp: 70°F
Min Temp: 55.9°F
February 2, 1971
Max Temp: 30.9°F
Min Temp: 6.1°F
February 2, 1973
2.21 inches
Greenville (313638) February 2, 1988
Max Temp: 75.9°F
Min Temp: 60.1°F
February 2, 1971
Max Temp: 32°F
Min Temp: 12°F
February 2, 1896
1.45 inches
Hickory Regional Airport (314020) February 2, 1989
Max Temp: 78.1°F
Min Temp: 44.1°F
February 2, 1971
Max Temp: 32°F
Min Temp: 10.9°F
February 2, 1983
2.04 inches
Raleigh Durham WSFO Airport (317069) February 2, 1988
Max Temp: 75°F
Min Temp: 60.1°F
February 2, 1971
Max Temp: 33.1°F
Min Temp: 5°F
February 2, 1973
3.22 inches
Wilmington WSO Airport (319457) February 2, 1950
Max Temp: 80.1°F
Min Temp: 61°F
February 2, 1980
Max Temp: 34°F
Min Temp: 17.1°F
February 2, 1982
1.58 inches

 

Statewide Summary for January 2009

As part of the monthly newsletter, the SCO provides a basic summary of monthly conditions for all locations that have an automated reporting station. A daily version of this product is available online at:
http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/cronos/review

Station
Avg Daily
Max Temp
Avg Daily
Min Temp
Total
Rainfall
Avg Daily
Wind Speed
Max Daily
Wind Speed
Vector Avg
Wind Speed
Aurora, NC (AURO)
50.6° F
(-2.6° F)
4 mi
33.3° F
(+1.9° F)
4 mi
2.2 in
4.6 mph
33.2 mph
1.8 mph
West Northwest (288°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
40.5° F
(+1.2° F)
1 mi
22.2° F
(+2.6° F)
1 mi
3.3 in
7.7 mph
37.4 mph
6.3 mph
West (277°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
49.5° F
(+0.6° F)
15 mi
30.3° F
(+3.8° F)
15 mi
1.9 in
2.8 mph
24.2 mph
1.3 mph
West Southwest (243°)
Burnsville, NC (MITC)
33° F
(-1.2° F)
1 mi
17.1° F
(-0.2° F)
1 mi
3.6 in
18.5 mph
78.3 mph
19.6 mph
West (278°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
45.1° F
(-1° F)
8 mi
23.9° F
(+2.2° F)
8 mi
2.7 in
4.6 mph
39.6 mph
3.6 mph
Northwest (316°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
54° F
(-2.2° F)
0 mi
35.7° F
(+2.4° F)
0 mi
2 in
4.1 mph
33.6 mph
1.9 mph
West Northwest (293°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
47.4° F
(-2.6° F)
3 mi
31° F
(+2.9° F)
3 mi
2 in
6 mph
36.8 mph
2.5 mph
West (280°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
48.9° F
(-1.1° F)
3 mi
28.5° F
(+0.4° F)
3 mi
3 in
3 mph
20.6 mph
1.2 mph
West Northwest (286°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
50.6° F
(-1.7° F)
0 mi
32.7° F
(+1° F)
0 mi
2.1 in
4.5 mph
36.4 mph
1.5 mph
West (273°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
47.9° F
(+1.9° F)
0 mi
25.3° F
(+2.3° F)
0 mi
2.3 in
5.4 mph
25.5 mph
3.3 mph
North Northwest (349°)
Franklin, NC (WINE)
36.2° F
(-11.5° F)
11 mi
19.1° F
(-4.9° F)
11 mi
6.9 in
10.4 mph
33 mph
9 mph
West Northwest (289°)
Frying Pan Mountain, NC (FRYI)
40.2° F
(-5.6° F)
10 mi
20.1° F
(-2.9° F)
10 mi
0 in
9.8 mph
41.1 mph
7.6 mph
West Southwest (256°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
49.2° F
(-4.5° F)
5 mi
31.1° F
(-1.9° F)
5 mi
2.4 in
6.3 mph
45.2 mph
2.6 mph
West Southwest (237°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
47.4° F
(+0.2° F)
12 mi
28.5° F
(+0.3° F)
12 mi
2.6 in
3.7 mph
32.3 mph
1.7 mph
West (275°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
51.7° F
(-0.9° F)
4 mi
32.3° F
(+4.2° F)
4 mi
1.8 in
4.2 mph
49.2 mph
1.8 mph
West Southwest (252°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
39.1° F
(-9.6° F)
7 mi
22.4° F
(-3.5° F)
7 mi
2 in
16.2 mph
43.5 mph
12.6 mph
North Northeast (33°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
47.3° F
(-2.5° F)
2 mi
27.9° F
(-1.7° F)
2 mi
2.3 in
3.2 mph
23.7 mph
1.5 mph
West Northwest (283°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
48.6° F
(-1.1° F)
0 mi
30.9° F
(0° F)
0 mi
1.5 in
6.4 mph
75.5 mph
2.2 mph
West (270°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
50.2° F
(-5.7° F)
5 mi
32.4° F
(-0.8° F)
5 mi
2.6 in
5.8 mph
47.2 mph
2.6 mph
West (266°)
Laurel Springs, NC (LAUR)
41° F
(+0.1° F)
1 mi
21.5° F
(+3° F)
1 mi
2.7 in
5.5 mph
35 mph
3.8 mph
West Northwest (296°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
47.4° F
(-3.7° F)
0 mi
30.2° F
(+0.4° F)
0 mi
2.3 in
6.1 mph
46.1 mph
2.3 mph
West (272°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
50.9° F
(-0.6° F)
9 mi
33.9° F
(+2.2° F)
9 mi
1.8 in
4 mph
48.5 mph
1.5 mph
West Southwest (250°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
46.2° F
(-2.1° F)
0 mi
28.4° F
(+0.8° F)
0 mi
2.6 in
4.7 mph
39.6 mph
4.7 mph
North (3°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
48.3° F
(-5.7° F)
2 mi
29.2° F
(-3.9° F)
2 mi
1.8 in
8.1 mph
41.6 mph
3.2 mph
Northwest (311°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
47.8° F
(-3.6° F)
0 mi
30.9° F
(-1.1° F)
0 mi
2.3 in
5 mph
39.1 mph
2.5 mph
West (277°)
Raleigh, NC (REED)
47.6° F
(-1.2° F)
3 mi
31.1° F
(+1° F)
3 mi
3.1 in
4.7 mph
33.3 mph
2.3 mph
West Northwest (294°)
Reidsville, NC (REID)
45.6° F
(-1.4° F)
0 mi
27.5° F
(+0.4° F)
0 mi
0 in
5.4 mph
29 mph
3.1 mph
West Northwest (288°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
47.8° F
(-3.5° F)
0 mi
30° F
(-0.8° F)
0 mi
2.5 in
5.6 mph
41.3 mph
2.2 mph
West (269°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
48.7° F
(+0.6° F)
0 mi
26.9° F
(+0.9° F)
0 mi
0 in
4 mph
44.3 mph
1.7 mph
West Northwest (285°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
47.3° F
(-1.9° F)
5 mi
26.5° F
(-2.3° F)
5 mi
2.5 in
4.7 mph
35.1 mph
1.7 mph
West (281°)
Wallace, NC (WILD)
53° F
(-3.7° F)
8 mi
33.4° F
(-1.4° F)
8 mi
2.1 in
5 mph
71.8 mph
1.9 mph
West (275°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
47.7° F
(+0.7° F)
0 mi
23.1° F
(+1.5° F)
0 mi
3.4 in
4.2 mph
25.2 mph
0.9 mph
West (279°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
53.2° F
(-3.3° F)
0 mi
33.5° F
(+1° F)
0 mi
1.7 in
4 mph
28.5 mph
1.5 mph
West (277°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
48.7° F
(-3.3° F)
4 mi
31.1° F
(-0.8° F)
4 mi
2.1 in
4.2 mph
40.9 mph
1.8 mph
West (272°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

« Back to Newsletters