NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC

April 2010

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North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers a monthly climate summary for March with impacts to agriculture and water resources, and an overview of the new "Ask A Meteorologist" database.
PDF version available for printing.

 

Climate Summary

Departures from Normal
Temperature and Precipitation by climate division
Departures from Normal for March 2010 - based on preliminary data.

March 2010 in North Carolina was somewhat typical – some cold temperatures, some warm temperatures, and some nasty storms.

While the southwestern mountains were generally a bit cool and dry (thanks El Niño), the rest of the state reported monthly average temperatures and precipitation that was near-normal in March. However, that monthly average hides the cold temperatures experienced in early March and the warm temperatures in late March. Much of the “average” rain reported for March was associated with a single large event that brought severe thunderstorms, flooding, and tornadoes to most of central and eastern North Carolina.

A series of damaging tornadoes ripped along the I-85 corridor on March 28, 2010. While spring tornadoes are not unusual in North Carolina, this storm system did produce a series of moderate to strong tornadoes. Substantial damages and several injuries were reported by the National Weather Service. This same storm produced rain in excess of 3 inches across parts of central and eastern NC.

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

Drier conditions are a welcome sight for many growers in central and eastern NC, where many fields are still too wet to manage. Continued warm and dry weather expected in early April should help fields become easier for spring planting.

The drought conditions from recent years seem like a distant memory to many. Wet conditions continue to ensure reservoirs are full and groundwater is recharging. While drier conditions have raised a few eyebrows in southwestern NC, there are no reported drought impacts. Drought conditions are not likely to be of any concern until late spring or early summer if NC again experiences sustained dry weather.

MPE Precipitation
Precipitation for March 2010
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP

MPE Precipitation Percent of Normal
Precipitation for March 2010: Percent of Normal
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP

 

New "Ask A Meteorologist" Database

The new Ask a Meteorologist database is an interactive and easy-to-use way to view questions about weather and climate. The database was assembled from questions that meteorologists at the State Climate Office have answered in the past.

The purpose of the database is to give users with a weather- or climate-related question a chance to find their question or similar questions, and to do so without searching through pages of unrelated questions and answers. This is done by giving users arriving at the main page three different options for accessing questions in the database:

1. A list of frequently asked questions. Clicking on a question in this section takes the user directly to that question's page, which displays the question, answer and an option to rate that question based on its helpfulness. These ratings will be used in the future to improve our answers.

2. A search box for directly searching the database. After a user enters a search in the box and clicks the 'Search' button, any questions and answers containing those search terms are located and returned to the user. That list of questions is sorted by relevance, so the best matches to the user's search terms are at the top of the list.

3. A list of categories, with specific subcategories in each. The categories include event types such as Winter Weather and Hurricanes, and they span from the large scale (global weather patterns) to the small scale (regional differences in North Carolina's climate). General categories about the atmosphere, meteorology and climate change are also included.

If a user selects the 'click to show subcategories' link beneath a category name, a list of more specific subcategories is displayed. These include, for example, subcategories called 'Data', 'Equipment' and 'Radar' under the 'Measuring the Weather' category. In parentheses next to each subcategory name is the number of questions within that subcategory.

After clicking on a subcategory, the questions within that subcategory are displayed for the user. Many questions are listed under more than one subcategory, which should help users find their questions even if they are unsure of the specific categories and subcategories.

The question and answer shown below could be accessed easily using options 2 or 3. For example, in a search for 'precipitation', this question is the most relevant result. In addition, it is listed under two subcategories (General Meteorology » Precipitation and Forecasting » Precipitation).

Ask A Meteorologist Example

There are currently more than 80 questions in the database. Questions will continue to be added as we receive and answer them.

 

Statewide Summary for March 2010

As part of the monthly newsletter, the SCO provides a basic summary of monthly conditions for ECONet stations. A daily version of this product for all locations that have an automated reporting station 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
Aurora, NC (AURO)
62.7° F
(-0.5° F)
4 mi
43° F
(+2.2° F)
4 mi
3.3 in
4 mph
24.5 mph
1.3 mph
West Northwest (290°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
63.3° F
(+3.2° F)
15 mi
37.6° F
(+1.8° F)
15 mi
5.5 in
2.7 mph
17.7 mph
0.5 mph
Northwest (314°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
52° F
(-5.1° F)
8 mi
33.4° F
(+2.9° F)
8 mi
4.8 in
5.1 mph
30 mph
2.6 mph
Northwest (307°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
64.2° F
(-2.3° F)
0 mi
41.8° F
(-0.3° F)
0 mi
3.2 in
4.5 mph
23.9 mph
1.7 mph
West Northwest (300°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
63° F
(+0.3° F)
3 mi
41.6° F
(+3.8° F)
3 mi
4.4 in
5.5 mph
28.6 mph
2 mph
West Northwest (300°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
64.6° F
(+1.9° F)
3 mi
37.8° F
(0° F)
3 mi
8.4 in
2.7 mph
17.4 mph
1.3 mph
Northwest (310°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
63.6° F
(-0.4° F)
0 mi
40.7° F
(-0.8° F)
0 mi
4.5 in
4.8 mph
29.1 mph
1.5 mph
South Southeast (154°)
Durham, NC (DURH)
62.4° F
(+0.3° F)
6 mi
37.5° F
(+0.5° F)
6 mi
1.4 in
3.7 mph
45.2 mph
1.3 mph
West Northwest (282°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
54.4° F
(-3.5° F)
0 mi
34.1° F
(+1.8° F)
0 mi
2.1 in
5.3 mph
24.3 mph
3 mph
North (350°)
Franklin, NC (WINE)
42.5° F
(-17.8° F)
11 mi
27.6° F
(-4.9° F)
11 mi
4.6 in
8.1 mph
33.2 mph
2.6 mph
Northwest (306°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
63.7° F
(-1.9° F)
5 mi
40.2° F
(-1.4° F)
5 mi
3.9 in
5.6 mph
29.1 mph
1.7 mph
West Southwest (254°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
61.6° F
(+1.3° F)
12 mi
40.4° F
(+2.6° F)
12 mi
3.4 in
4.8 mph
23.2 mph
3.9 mph
West (280°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
64.7° F
(-1.3° F)
4 mi
38.8° F
(+1.7° F)
4 mi
3.4 in
4.7 mph
54.4 mph
1.6 mph
West Northwest (294°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
45.2° F
(-14.8° F)
7 mi
32.6° F
(-1.8° F)
7 mi
2.6 in
15.1 mph
47.3 mph
9 mph
West Northwest (301°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
61.7° F
(-1.4° F)
2 mi
37.2° F
(-1.8° F)
2 mi
3.5 in
2.6 mph
18.3 mph
1.2 mph
Northwest (308°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
62.4° F
(-0.3° F)
0 mi
41.4° F
(+1.1° F)
0 mi
5.6 in
5.8 mph
26.6 mph
2 mph
Northwest (304°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
63.7° F
(-4.1° F)
5 mi
41.9° F
(+1.3° F)
5 mi
3 in
4.1 mph
28 mph
1.6 mph
West Southwest (255°)
Laurel Springs, NC (LAUR)
50.4° F
(-2° F)
1 mi
32.3° F
(+4.4° F)
1 mi
5.4 in
6.2 mph
29.7 mph
3 mph
North Northwest (335°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
62.6° F
(-0.1° F)
0 mi
40.6° F
(+2.5° F)
0 mi
4.8 in
5.1 mph
23.7 mph
2.1 mph
West Northwest (303°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
63.9° F
(-0.2° F)
9 mi
41° F
(-0.2° F)
9 mi
2.7 in
4.2 mph
47.4 mph
1.6 mph
West Northwest (303°)
New London, NC (NEWL)
63.1° F
(+0.2° F)
2 mi
38.1° F
(+1.4° F)
2 mi
3.2 in
4.4 mph
51.9 mph
1.9 mph
North Northwest (335°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
62° F
(-3.4° F)
2 mi
40.1° F
(-0.5° F)
2 mi
4.9 in
7.4 mph
39.1 mph
2.2 mph
North Northwest (329°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
63.4° F
(-0.4° F)
0 mi
40.6° F
(-0.2° F)
0 mi
3.1 in
6 mph
27.7 mph
2.5 mph
Northwest (305°)
Raleigh, NC (REED)
62.8° F
(+1.6° F)
3 mi
41.3° F
(+1.5° F)
3 mi
5.5 in
5.1 mph
23.1 mph
2.5 mph
Northwest (320°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
63.3° F
(+0.4° F)
0 mi
41° F
(+1.9° F)
0 mi
5.4 in
4.7 mph
30.3 mph
1 mph
West Northwest (297°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
61.5° F
(+0.7° F)
0 mi
36.7° F
(0° F)
0 mi
5 in
3.5 mph
23.1 mph
1.6 mph
Northwest (321°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
59.5° F
(-2.5° F)
5 mi
37.2° F
(-1.7° F)
5 mi
2.2 in
5.3 mph
24.4 mph
1.5 mph
North Northwest (331°)
Taylorsville, NC (TAYL)
59.7° F
37.2° F
4.3 in
2.8 mph
42.3 mph
1.2 mph
Northwest (313°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
53.4° F
(-5° F)
0 mi
32° F
(+1.3° F)
0 mi
2.2 in
2.8 mph
26.2 mph
0.8 mph
Northeast (55°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
64.6° F
(-3.4° F)
0 mi
40.5° F
(-0.3° F)
0 mi
3.2 in
4 mph
29.5 mph
1.3 mph
West Northwest (288°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
63.1° F
(+0.1° F)
4 mi
41.3° F
(+0.3° F)
4 mi
4.2 in
4.7 mph
24.4 mph
1.6 mph
West Northwest (297°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

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