Cotton Field

February 2012 Climate Update

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North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers a brief overview of our Groundhog Day page, information on the annual AMS meeting attended by many SCO staff in January, a brief overview of workshops and conferences attended by SCO staff and students in 2011, and a monthly climate summary for January with impacts across the state.
PDF version available for printing.

 

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The SCO is on Twitter! Follow us so you can keep up with the latest SCO news, including product updates, new product releases, climate information, and more!
http://twitter.com/ncsco

 

Groundhog Day 2012

GroundhogA few years ago the SCO created a "groundhog climatology" that depicts how accurate Sir Walter Wally’s predictions have been in the past, as well as how his forecast for the current year is doing as the six-week period progresses. This page calculates average temperatures for each week, and compares them 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).

The groundhog climatology page includes information describing other animal and weather folklore, found just 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.

 

92nd Annual Meeting of the AMS

Like many professions and disciplines, meteorology has a national association called the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Members include climatologists, meteorologists, chemists, and many other physical and social scientists. An annual meeting is held each year to gather these great minds, teach, learn and continue to advance the represented disciplines. Several staff and students recently joined thousands of other attendees at the AMS’ 92nd Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

Each annual AMS meeting has a theme. This year’s theme was, “Technology in Research and Operations—How We Got Here and Where We’re Going.” Technological advances such as computers, satellites, radars, and instrumentation have each revolutionized the field of meteorology. Sessions and symposiums revolved around this theme.

Contributions to the meeting from State Climate Office staff and students include:

The State Climate Office was also well-represented at the 11th Annual Student Conference, which provides undergraduate and graduate students — over 500 in attendance this year from schools across the nation — exposure to a wide range of careers in meteorology- or climate-related fields. SCO staff and student involvement in the Student Conference includes:

  • Rachel Wrenn and Adrienne Wootten attended while Heather Dinon served as a session chair
  • Adrienne Wootten and Heather Dinon helped represent the State Climate Office and NCSU's graduate program at the Career Fair
  • Sean Heuser, Adrienne Wootten, and Heather Dinon served as poster judges at the Student Conference poster session

Besides enjoying the Big Easy culture, attending the 92nd Annual Meeting of the AMS inspired us with new ideas and a renewed sense of service. It was also a great opportunity to speak face to face with many of our research partners, collaborators and clients. It’s clear that your State Climate Office of NC is a recognized leader and innovator with climate services, climate data management, and inter-disciplinary research. But we still have much to do.

 

We Were There!

In 2011, SCO staff and students attended 15 meetings, workshops and conferences across the country. Many of these meetings provided opportunities to share our research with our extension partners, scientists from other universities, and other state climate offices. In July, most of our staff and students attended the American Meteorological Society's Applied Climatology Conference in Asheville, where we presented eight posters, gave seven oral presentations, and received four student awards for outstanding presentations.

We also made plenty of stops across North Carolina in 2011. These included maintenance visits to our ECONet weather stations, conferences and meetings, school visits, and invited presentations, such as our exhibits at the Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Tour in Cherry Point and StormFest in Raleigh.

 

Climate Summary: January was another warm, dry month

Temperature and Precipitation by climate division
Departures from Normal for January 2012
Based on Preliminary Data
Temperature and Precipitation Departures from Normal

January 2012 brought a new year to North Carolina, but the same weather pattern as previous months. Across the state temperatures were more than 4°F above normal, with wetter conditions in the mountains and little rainfall in central and eastern NC. Much of central and eastern NC received less than 50% of normal rainfall for January. Statewide January 2012 ranked as 26th warmest and the 33rd driest such January since 1895. The driest January on record was 1907, while the warmest was 1950.

This precipitation pattern is typical of La Niña winters. La Niña events are characterized by below-normal ocean temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. These cooler ocean temperatures affect atmospheric weather patterns across the globe, and tend to be associated with dry winters in central and eastern North Carolina.

Precipitation for January 2012
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP
MPE Precipitation


Precipitation for January 2012: Percent of Normal
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP
MPE Precipitation Percent of Normal


Local Storm Reports for January 2012
Preliminary Count of LSRs courtesy National Weather Service
http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/lsrdb/index.php
LSR Summary

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

Winter is a challenging time for drought monitoring, as it can be difficult to identify impacts from the dry weather. Agricultural impacts are difficult to find as most fields are bare for the winter. Impacts to water resources are also a challenge as demands for water are lowest in the winter.

Despite these challenges, we do have some objective data and reports from partners across NC that show drought impacts. Streamflow and groundwater levels are low in central and eastern NC for this time of the year, and Falls Reservoir (upper Neuse watershed) is still nearly 2 feet below normal. We’ve also heard that some pastures in this area are not producing as they should due to low soil moisture.

Since need for water is low during the winter (both from humans and plants), most of what falls from the sky goes toward recharge. Winter is when we typically see recharge to water supply storage (both surface and underground). Water managers typically aim to have full recharge by April. If we don’t get sufficient precipitation to recharge our storage systems by then, our chances for problems are substantially increased if we experience another hot, dry summer.


US Drought Monitor for North Carolina
Courtesy NC DENR Division of Water Resources

Drought Monitor

 

Statewide Summary for January 2012

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)
58.2° F
(+5° F)
4 mi
39.1° F
(+7.7° F)
4 mi
2.4 in
3 mph
24.3 mph
1.3 mph
West (269°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
48.8° F
(+9.5° F)
1 mi
30.9° F
(+11.3° F)
1 mi
4.5 in
7.7 mph
37.5 mph
6.2 mph
West (278°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
56° F
(+7.1° F)
15 mi
33.6° F
(+7.1° F)
15 mi
2 in
2.5 mph
22.3 mph
1.4 mph
West Southwest (245°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
50° F
(+3.9° F)
8 mi
28.9° F
(+7.2° F)
8 mi
3.4 in
5.2 mph
28.9 mph
3.5 mph
West Northwest (299°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
61.4° F
(+5.2° F)
0 mi
37.1° F
(+3.8° F)
0 mi
1.6 in
3.7 mph
29.6 mph
2.1 mph
West (276°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
55.9° F
(+5.9° F)
3 mi
36.2° F
(+8.1° F)
3 mi
2.1 in
5.2 mph
33.2 mph
3 mph
West (261°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
57.2° F
(+7.2° F)
3 mi
34.2° F
(+6.1° F)
3 mi
2.2 in
2 mph
17.3 mph
1 mph
West (279°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
58.6° F
(+6.3° F)
0 mi
35.9° F
(+4.2° F)
0 mi
2.1 in
4.6 mph
27.8 mph
2.9 mph
South Southeast (162°)
Durham, NC (DURH)
56.1° F
(+6.9° F)
6 mi
32.8° F
(+5° F)
6 mi
1.5 in
3.4 mph
30.2 mph
2 mph
West Southwest (247°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
52.2° F
(+6.2° F)
0 mi
29.3° F
(+6.3° F)
0 mi
4 in
3 mph
26.1 mph
1.5 mph
North Northwest (344°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
57.8° F
(+4.1° F)
5 mi
35.4° F
(+2.4° F)
5 mi
2.7 in
3.8 mph
28.4 mph
2 mph
South Southwest (209°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
53.5° F
(+6.3° F)
12 mi
33° F
(+4.8° F)
12 mi
1.7 in
2.4 mph
19.1 mph
1.6 mph
Southwest (231°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
58.6° F
(+6° F)
4 mi
33.9° F
(+5.8° F)
4 mi
2.4 in
4.5 mph
24.2 mph
1.9 mph
West (264°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
44.1° F
(-4.6° F)
7 mi
29.9° F
(+4° F)
7 mi
4.2 in
13.9 mph
58.2 mph
9.2 mph
West (278°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
53.9° F
(+4.1° F)
2 mi
31.8° F
(+2.2° F)
2 mi
2.1 in
2.2 mph
19.5 mph
1.2 mph
West (278°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
55.7° F
(+6° F)
0 mi
36.3° F
(+5.4° F)
0 mi
3.5 in
5 mph
34.9 mph
1.9 mph
West Southwest (256°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
58.1° F
(+2.2° F)
0 mi
36.9° F
(+3.7° F)
0 mi
1.9 in
5.3 mph
38 mph
3.2 mph
West Southwest (245°)
Laurel Springs, NC (LAUR)
45.9° F
(+5° F)
1 mi
28° F
(+9.5° F)
1 mi
4 in
5.2 mph
33.7 mph
3.5 mph
West Northwest (285°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
55.7° F
(+4.6° F)
0 mi
34.9° F
(+5.1° F)
0 mi
2 in
5.3 mph
32.3 mph
3 mph
West Southwest (255°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
57.7° F
(+6.2° F)
9 mi
36.3° F
(+4.6° F)
9 mi
2.3 in
4.2 mph
39.8 mph
1.4 mph
North Northwest (341°)
New London, NC (NEWL)
55.6° F
(+5.1° F)
2 mi
31.6° F
(+3.8° F)
2 mi
3.6 in
3.3 mph
38.9 mph
1.2 mph
West Northwest (301°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
54.4° F
(+6.1° F)
0 mi
34.1° F
(+6.5° F)
0 mi
1.1 in
3.1 mph
23.6 mph
2.1 mph
West Southwest (244°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
56.6° F
(+2.6° F)
2 mi
35.7° F
(+2.6° F)
2 mi
2.2 in
6.4 mph
48.2 mph
3.2 mph
West (274°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
55.7° F
(+4.3° F)
0 mi
35.4° F
(+3.4° F)
0 mi
2 in
5.8 mph
36.2 mph
3.5 mph
West (265°)
Reidsville, NC (REID)
52.9° F
(+5.9° F)
0 mi
34.2° F
(+7.1° F)
0 mi
3.5 in
4.7 mph
25.5 mph
3.1 mph
West Northwest (282°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
56.5° F
(+5.2° F)
0 mi
35.6° F
(+4.8° F)
0 mi
2.8 in
4.7 mph
31 mph
2.6 mph
West Southwest (251°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
54.6° F
(+6.5° F)
0 mi
30.9° F
(+4.9° F)
0 mi
1.5 in
3.2 mph
25.6 mph
1.6 mph
West Northwest (282°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
55.1° F
(+5.9° F)
5 mi
30.6° F
(+1.8° F)
5 mi
1.6 in
3.6 mph
28 mph
1.8 mph
West (266°)
Taylorsville, NC (TAYL)
52.8° F
29.9° F
2.1 in
2.6 mph
57.5 mph
1.2 mph
West (279°)
Wallace, NC (WILD)
60.3° F
(+3.6° F)
8 mi
34° F
(-0.8° F)
8 mi
3 in
4.4 mph
39.8 mph
2.1 mph
West Southwest (255°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
51.4° F
(+4.4° F)
0 mi
29.2° F
(+7.6° F)
0 mi
4 in
2.2 mph
31 mph
1.1 mph
West (266°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
60.6° F
(+4.1° F)
0 mi
35.4° F
(+2.9° F)
0 mi
1.6 in
3 mph
24.3 mph
1.2 mph
West (263°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
57° F
(+5° F)
4 mi
36° F
(+4.1° F)
4 mi
2.5 in
3.4 mph
27.3 mph
2.2 mph
West (261°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

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