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June 2010

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North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers a monthly climate summary for May with impacts to agriculture and water resources and a brief description of student summer projects.
PDF version available for printing.

 

Climate Summary

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

May 2010 in North Carolina was warm and wet, especially in central parts of the state. Most locations across the state were above normal for temperatures. A few locations had average maximum temperatures near record. In particular gauges in Bladen, Pamlico, and New Hanover counties reported top 5 ranks. However all gauges across North Carolina reported average minimum temperatures that were much above normal, and 28 locations reported average minimum temperatures that rank with the 6 warmest on record. So while the days haven’t been too unusually warm, the nights have been very warm.

Precipitation in May is a more complicated and variable situation. In general, the heaviest rain fell across the piedmont and northern coastal plain regions. A few gauges (Salisbury, Reidsville, Fayetteville, Clayton, Wilson, Tarboro) reported heavy rainfall than ranked in the top 10. Radar-based rainfall estimates indicate many parts of central NC received in excess of 6 inches in May. However, many mountain and coastal gauges reported below normal rainfall for May 2010. Indeed, both Craven and Pamlico County gauges reported less than 1.5 inches for May. For New Bern, May 2010 was the 3rd driest on record. Just a few miles up US 70 in Clayton, May 2010 ranked as the 4th wettest on record.

Statewide, May 2010 ranked as the 11th warmest and the 33rd wettest since 1895. In the piedmont region, May 2010 ranked as the 15th wettest in the past 116 years.

 

Drought Watch 2010?

Remember last month when we wondered if we might be headed for another drought? Certainly there aren’t any drought concerns right now in central NC. Repeated widespread thunderstorm activity has kept rivers and reservoirs full. But conditions along the southern coast have been dry, and there are still concerns for many growers in those areas.

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

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

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

Rainfall in May was generally beneficial to those who received it. Reports from NC Department of Agriculture suggest corn progress is as good as any year in recent memory. But some growers, especially in the drier areas southeast of I-95, are reporting low soil moisture, which could impact crops during this critical period if dry conditions persist.

In late April, D0 (Abnormally Dry) was again introduced in parts of central and eastern NC. However, after a wet May in central NC, D0 (Abnormally Dry) conditions only remain in far eastern NC and along the SE border with South Carolina. The NC Drought Management Advisory Council is again holding weekly technical meetings to review all drought indicators and provide recommendations to local agencies and the US Drought Monitor. The depiction below emphasizes the short-term dryness that especially central and eastern NC has experienced since April 2010.

May 2010 Drought Monitor

 

Summer Projects

The SCO is proud to have 5 undergraduate students and recent NCSU graduates working for our office this summer.

Heather Russett will continue working to evaluate the performance of the WRF modeling system through statistical analysis, real-world case studies, and conducted research. These studies will focus on model analysis and evaluation, examining model strengths and deficiencies, and investigating model improvements and enhancements.

Megan Embrey is currently working with other undergraduate researchers as well as staff in MEAS at NC State, the Science House and Crop Science in developing web-based climate education modules aimed at the Southeast US for agriculture and growers. Upon completion of this project, Megan will be working with Heather to evaluate the WRF modeling system.

Bradley McLamb is working to develop an interactive map interface for viewing severe weather events (including: tornadoes, hail, and high winds) that have affected North Carolina. The goal of this project is to improve upon the climatology portion of the severe weather pages currently on the SCO's website by providing a dynamic map where users can specify criteria such as event type, damage, injuries, fatalities, and date range.

Corey Davis is creating an archive of Local Storm Reports issued by the National Weather Service. This database will be searchable by date and location, and it will link into some of the State Climate Office's other resources, including COOP weather data.

Dan McKemy will be looking into how much precipitation tropical cyclones contribute to yearly rainfall totals in North Carolina (and plan to include the Gulf Coast States and the Mid-Atlantic later on down the road). Surprisingly, there have been relatively few studies on this topic even though tropical cyclones have substantial impacts on the Gulf Coast/Mid-Atlantic.

 

Statewide Summary for May 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)
81.4° F
(+2.6° F)
4 mi
63.9° F
(+6.4° F)
4 mi
2.1 in
3.1 mph
19.5 mph
1.4 mph
South Southwest (199°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
75.2° F
(+8.4° F)
1 mi
54.8° F
(+7.9° F)
1 mi
4.7 in
4.7 mph
33.2 mph
2.4 mph
Southwest (227°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
80.2° F
(+3.1° F)
15 mi
56.7° F
(+3.6° F)
15 mi
6.3 in
2.6 mph
16.9 mph
0.8 mph
Southwest (215°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
74.1° F
(+1.3° F)
8 mi
52.2° F
(+6.6° F)
8 mi
3 in
3.1 mph
34.9 mph
0.6 mph
North Northeast (15°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
81.2° F
(+0.2° F)
0 mi
63.1° F
(+5.1° F)
0 mi
4.1 in
4 mph
20.5 mph
1.1 mph
South Southwest (208°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
81° F
(+1.4° F)
3 mi
62.3° F
(+6.5° F)
3 mi
7.6 in
4.7 mph
23.2 mph
1.5 mph
West Southwest (237°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
81.7° F
(+2.1° F)
3 mi
59.8° F
(+4° F)
3 mi
12.7 in
1.8 mph
15.3 mph
0.4 mph
Southwest (225°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
82.8° F
(+2.5° F)
0 mi
63.3° F
(+5.7° F)
0 mi
5.8 in
4.9 mph
21.6 mph
2.7 mph
Southeast (128°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
76.4° F
(+2.5° F)
0 mi
54.9° F
(+6.7° F)
0 mi
5.3 in
2.2 mph
21.6 mph
0.3 mph
North (351°)
Franklin, NC (WINE)
66.2° F
(-9.4° F)
11 mi
48.7° F
(-0.3° F)
11 mi
5.7 in
6.6 mph
23.9 mph
2.8 mph
West Southwest (257°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
82.6° F
(+0.5° F)
5 mi
62.2° F
(+3.8° F)
5 mi
3.3 in
3.7 mph
20.6 mph
0.6 mph
South Southeast (166°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
79° F
(+2.1° F)
12 mi
60.1° F
(+5.4° F)
12 mi
6.7 in
3.9 mph
21.6 mph
2.2 mph
West (268°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
84.4° F
(+2.6° F)
4 mi
62.2° F
(+8.2° F)
4 mi
5 in
4.6 mph
22.8 mph
1.4 mph
South Southwest (204°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
65.7° F
(-9.5° F)
7 mi
53.3° F
(+4.9° F)
7 mi
8 in
8.8 mph
48 mph
3.6 mph
West Southwest (240°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
79.2° F
(+0.1° F)
2 mi
59.1° F
(+4.1° F)
2 mi
7 in
1.8 mph
15.5 mph
0.1 mph
West Southwest (238°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
81.4° F
(+2.4° F)
0 mi
61.9° F
(+4.9° F)
0 mi
7.6 in
4.7 mph
29.3 mph
0.5 mph
Southwest (228°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
82.9° F
(-0.5° F)
5 mi
63.5° F
(+6.7° F)
5 mi
3.4 in
3.8 mph
25.7 mph
2.4 mph
South Southwest (210°)
Laurel Springs, NC (LAUR)
71° F
(+1.9° F)
1 mi
52° F
(+8.1° F)
1 mi
1.8 in
4.3 mph
27.6 mph
1.8 mph
Southwest (227°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
80.8° F
(+2° F)
0 mi
60.6° F
(+5.9° F)
0 mi
4.8 in
2.9 mph
23.5 mph
1.2 mph
Southwest (233°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
82.6° F
(+2.5° F)
9 mi
62.4° F
(+4.4° F)
9 mi
4.1 in
3.8 mph
48.5 mph
1.2 mph
South Southwest (206°)
Mount Mitchell, NC (MITC)
59.8° F
(+1.8° F)
1 mi
46.6° F
(+4.7° F)
1 mi
5.3 in
10.8 mph
63.1 mph
7.2 mph
West Northwest (284°)
New London, NC (NEWL)
81.1° F
(+2.4° F)
2 mi
59.7° F
(+5.3° F)
2 mi
5.8 in
2.7 mph
24.4 mph
0.3 mph
East Southeast (113°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
78.9° F
(+1.3° F)
0 mi
60.5° F
(+7° F)
0 mi
8.5 in
3.8 mph
21.9 mph
1.5 mph
Southwest (230°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
80.9° F
(+0.1° F)
2 mi
61.4° F
(+4.6° F)
2 mi
5.4 in
6.7 mph
28.2 mph
0.9 mph
Southwest (230°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
81.3° F
(+1.9° F)
0 mi
61.9° F
(+5° F)
0 mi
5.8 in
5.2 mph
27.9 mph
1.6 mph
West Southwest (244°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
81.2° F
(+2° F)
0 mi
62.1° F
(+6.1° F)
0 mi
6.6 in
4.9 mph
22.6 mph
1 mph
Southwest (224°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
80.4° F
(+3.2° F)
0 mi
59.3° F
(+5.3° F)
0 mi
9.8 in
2.3 mph
22.7 mph
0.3 mph
Northwest (315°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
80.8° F
(+3° F)
5 mi
58.4° F
(+3.5° F)
5 mi
4.4 in
4.6 mph
23.4 mph
1 mph
Southwest (219°)
Taylorsville, NC (TAYL)
77.7° F
57.2° F
4.2 in
1.9 mph
25.7 mph
0.5 mph
South (176°)
Wallace, NC (WILD)
83.7° F
(+0.9° F)
8 mi
62.1° F
(+3.8° F)
8 mi
3.3 in
4.8 mph
31.5 mph
1.6 mph
South Southwest (206°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
75.8° F
(+2.5° F)
0 mi
52° F
(+6° F)
0 mi
4.6 in
2.1 mph
27.2 mph
0.2 mph
Southwest (231°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
83.6° F
(+0.1° F)
0 mi
63.2° F
(+6.7° F)
0 mi
4.4 in
2.9 mph
20 mph
1 mph
South (187°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
81.4° F
(+3.2° F)
4 mi
62° F
(+5.6° F)
4 mi
4.2 in
4.3 mph
22.8 mph
1.1 mph
Southwest (231°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

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