Cullasaga Falls

June 2009

Signup to receive newsletters

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 news of this summer's interns.
PDF version available for printing.

 

Temperature and Precipitation Summary

May 2009 was nice and wet in North Carolina — but a bit too wet in parts western NC. Several severe storms brought damaging winds and flash flood warnings, with damages across the state. In Wilkes County, heavy rainfall and flooding along Moravian Creek near Wilkesboro caused parts of US Highway 421 to be eroded. Heavy rainfall caused damage to a storm drain on Brevard Road in Asheville, closing the street for 2 days for repair. Twice in May, heavy rain produced small landslides in Henderson County on US Highway 64 near Bat Cave. Storms in southwestern NC brought the French Broad River beyond its banks near Blantyre. High water on the river also forced cancellation of river events at the Mountain Sports Festival.

May 2009 was the wettest May on record at Asheville Regional Airport, where 9.18 inches in for the month surpassed the previous record of 8.83 inches from May 1973. Asheville experienced 20 days with measurable rain in May.

NC also experienced a cold snap in mid-May, with near freezing temperatures across the mountains. Fortunately, there was little damage reported to fruit crops. Otherwise, temperatures were generally above-normal across NC in May.

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

Temperatures in May 2009 were generally warmer than normal across the state. However, the 2nd week of May brought a cold air mass for several days and freeze warnings in western NC.

Rainfall amounts in May were greatest in the Mountains and southern parts of the state. In contrast, rainfall amounts in the northern Piedmont and north Coastal Plain were generally below-normal. Based on gage-calibrated radar estimates from National Weather Service, the driest locations were in the Tar River and lower Roanoke River basins.

MPE Precipitation
Precipitation for May 2009
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP

MPE Precipitation Percent of of Normal
Precipitation for May 2009: Percent of normal
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

Wet conditions in May delayed planting for many row crops across the state, especially in parts of western NC. Wet conditions have also led to reports of wheat scab across the state. Most crops are progressing well, while soil moisture conditions are adequate in central and eastern NC but too high in western NC. By the end of May, over 95% tobacco, cotton, and peanuts crops had been planted. Planting progress is generally better this year as compared to 2008, despite a limited number of suitable days for fieldwork. Rainfall in May has also lead to improvements in pastures, which are still recovering from drought conditions in 2007-08.

Rainfall in May ended all lingering drought impacts in North Carolina. For the first time in over 2 years, no drought impacts can be found in NC. Streams, reservoirs, and water table levels are generally near- or above-normal conditions for this time of the year. However, a few groundwater monitors in northeastern and southwestern NC have yet to fully recover. These low water table levels are the basis for continued D0 levels as depicted on the US Drought Monitor.

 

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

May 2009 Drought

 

Summer Interns

The SCO is proud to have 13 undergraduate students and recent graduates of NCSU working for our office this summer. Information about 7 of the interns can be found below.

Kristen Gore

Kristen Gore — Killing Frost Probabilities

Kristen Gore graduated from NCSU in May with bachelor's degrees in Statistics and Meteorology, as well as a minor in Mathematics. She has worked off and on with the SCO on various projects involving a meteorological adjusted ozone trend analysis, as well as the creation of a database that includes ozone, meteorological, and land surface observations. This summer, Kristen is working on a web-based application that will determine the probability of a killing frost for various locations across the state.


Corey Davis

Corey Davis — Recreation Climatology

Corey Davis began working for the SCO last summer to develop educational tools for the NC FIRST program, designed to teach emergency managers about the various weather threats NC faces. He is a recent graduate from NCSU with a bachelor's degree in Meteorology and a minor in Journalism. In conjunction with ECU's Center for Sustainable Tourism, Corey has been creating a recreational climatology for North Carolina that will calculate the favorable hours for various outdoor activities throughout the year.


David Church

David Church — Tropical Cyclone Climatology

David Church also started with the SCO last summer, and worked in conjunction with Corey and other interns in the development of the NC FIRST educational tools for emergency managers. He recently graduated from NCSU in May with a bachelor's degree in Meteorology and a minor in Mathematics. David is currently working to revamp our hurricane climatology for North Carolina, which will include various statistics as well as a mapping product for viewing tropical cyclone tracks.


Bradley McLamb

Bradley McLamb — Winter Weather Climatology

Bradley McLamb was also a part of the NC FIRST team with Corey and David who worked with the SCO last summer to create tools that would educate emergency managers on weather threats to North Carolina. He is currently pursuing bachelor's degrees in Meteorology and Marine Science at NCSU, and is set to graduate this December. Bradley is currently working on a winter weather climatology project that includes the development of a database with all weather advisories, watches, and warnings issued for NC. He has also been working to improve the winter weather section of the SCO website.


Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson — Winter Weather Climatology

Elizabeth Wilson began working at the SCO earlier this year, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Meteorology with a minor in Environmental Science as NCSU. She has been working with Bradley to compile a winter weather database of advisories, watches, and warnings in North Carolina, as well as a website for displaying this information.


Monica Laureano

Monica Laureano — WRF Evaluation

Monica Laureano has been working for the SCO as an intern for over a year. She recently graduated from NCSU in May with a bachelor's degree in Meteorology and a minor in Environmental Science, and will be attending graduate school at Purdue University this coming fall. Monica’s work involves evaluating the WRF modeling system, which includes a statistical analysis, analysis of real-world case studies, and conducted research.


Heather Russett

Heather Russett — WRF Evaluation

Heather Russett has been with the SCO since last fall, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Meteorology, as well as a minor in Mathematics at NCSU. Heather has been working with Monica to evaluate the performance of the WRF modeling system, which will focus on examining the model's strengths and deficiencies, as well as investigating possible improvements and enhancements in the model.

 

Statewide Summary for May 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
Aurora, NC (AURO)
79.3° F
(+0.5° F)
4 mi
62.3° F
(+4.8° F)
4 mi
5.3 in
5.1 mph
28.6 mph
2.9 mph
South Southwest (193°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
68.9° F
(+2.1° F)
1 mi
50.5° F
(+3.6° F)
1 mi
8.1 in
4.5 mph
22.8 mph
2.2 mph
Southwest (227°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
79.9° F
(+2.8° F)
15 mi
57.9° F
(+4.8° F)
15 mi
4.5 in
2.6 mph
19.3 mph
1.4 mph
South Southwest (202°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
71° F
(-1.8° F)
8 mi
51.9° F
(+6.3° F)
8 mi
6.4 in
3.8 mph
23.3 mph
0.8 mph
East Northeast (75°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
78.7° F
(-2.3° F)
0 mi
48.7° F
(-9.3° F)
0 mi
7.3 in
4.9 mph
23.9 mph
1.2 mph
South (181°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
79.2° F
(-0.4° F)
3 mi
60° F
(+4.2° F)
3 mi
4.4 in
5.1 mph
38.2 mph
2.2 mph
South Southwest (207°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
80.6° F
(+1° F)
3 mi
57.4° F
(+1.6° F)
3 mi
4 in
2.9 mph
20.2 mph
1 mph
South Southwest (193°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
80° F
(-0.3° F)
0 mi
60.5° F
(+2.9° F)
0 mi
3.4 in
5.6 mph
29.9 mph
1.6 mph
South (172°)
Durham, NC (DURH)
79.5° F
(+0.9° F)
6 mi
58° F
(+2.4° F)
6 mi
3.2 in
3.1 mph
32.4 mph
1.6 mph
Southwest (221°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
73.3° F
(-0.6° F)
0 mi
53.8° F
(+5.6° F)
0 mi
7.9 in
3.1 mph
20.2 mph
0.1 mph
East Northeast (60°)
Franklin, NC (WINE)
56.4° F
(-19.2° F)
11 mi
47° F
(-2° F)
11 mi
5.9 in
9.3 mph
25.7 mph
6.4 mph
West Southwest (251°)
Frying Pan Mountain, NC (FRYI)
62.7° F
(-10° F)
10 mi
46.9° F
(-0.9° F)
10 mi
0.3 in
9.6 mph
34 mph
4.6 mph
South Southwest (191°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
79.6° F
(-2.5° F)
5 mi
59.1° F
(+0.7° F)
5 mi
4.2 in
6.6 mph
30 mph
2.1 mph
Southeast (144°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
77.4° F
(+0.5° F)
12 mi
58.2° F
(+3.5° F)
12 mi
4.1 in
4.4 mph
22.8 mph
1.2 mph
South Southwest (209°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
81.4° F
(-0.4° F)
4 mi
60.5° F
(+6.5° F)
4 mi
6.6 in
5.3 mph
28.4 mph
2 mph
South (181°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
63.6° F
(-11.6° F)
7 mi
51° F
(+2.6° F)
7 mi
6.6 in
8.8 mph
40.9 mph
4.7 mph
North (353°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
77.7° F
(-1.4° F)
2 mi
56.5° F
(+1.5° F)
2 mi
1.7 in
2.5 mph
16.5 mph
0.6 mph
South (179°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
78.8° F
(-0.2° F)
0 mi
59.7° F
(+2.7° F)
0 mi
3.9 in
7 mph
28.1 mph
1.3 mph
South Southeast (154°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
80.9° F
(-2.5° F)
5 mi
60.6° F
(+3.8° F)
5 mi
2.3 in
4.5 mph
24.1 mph
2.4 mph
South Southwest (198°)
Laurel Springs, NC (LAUR)
68° F
(-1.1° F)
1 mi
50.4° F
(+6.5° F)
1 mi
7.1 in
4.3 mph
23.9 mph
1.7 mph
Southwest (223°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
79.8° F
(+1° F)
0 mi
60.1° F
(+5.4° F)
0 mi
2.1 in
6 mph
27.8 mph
2.6 mph
South Southwest (205°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
80.8° F
(+0.7° F)
9 mi
61° F
(+3° F)
9 mi
4 in
4.6 mph
58.8 mph
2.1 mph
South Southwest (194°)
Mount Mitchell, NC (MITC)
56.3° F
(-1.7° F)
1 mi
43.9° F
(+2° F)
1 mi
11.7 in
13 mph
48.8 mph
5.3 mph
West Southwest (255°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
77.4° F
(-0.2° F)
0 mi
58.5° F
(+5° F)
0 mi
7.3 in
3.8 mph
31.2 mph
1.8 mph
Southwest (221°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
80.2° F
(-0.6° F)
2 mi
60.5° F
(+3.7° F)
2 mi
3.2 in
7.8 mph
27.6 mph
3.5 mph
South Southwest (209°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
79.3° F
(-0.1° F)
0 mi
59.5° F
(+2.6° F)
0 mi
3.8 in
5.2 mph
32.2 mph
2 mph
Southwest (219°)
Raleigh, NC (REED)
78.8° F
(+1.3° F)
3 mi
59.7° F
(+3° F)
3 mi
7.7 in
3.7 mph
35.3 mph
0.8 mph
South Southwest (208°)
Reidsville, NC (REID)
75.9° F
(-1° F)
0 mi
57.5° F
(+3.4° F)
0 mi
0 in
4.8 mph
24.2 mph
1.4 mph
West Southwest (240°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
80.6° F
(+1.4° F)
0 mi
60° F
(+4° F)
0 mi
2.5 in
5.5 mph
38.5 mph
2.3 mph
South Southeast (155°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
77.6° F
(+0.4° F)
0 mi
57° F
(+3° F)
0 mi
0 in
3.6 mph
27.6 mph
0.7 mph
South Southeast (165°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
78° F
(+0.2° F)
5 mi
54.8° F
(-0.1° F)
5 mi
1.2 in
4.7 mph
31 mph
1 mph
Southwest (215°)
Taylorsville, NC (TAYL)
75.2° F
55.5° F
8 in
2.1 mph
31.8 mph
0.9 mph
South Southeast (161°)
Wallace, NC (WILD)
80.3° F
(-2.5° F)
8 mi
61.6° F
(+3.3° F)
8 mi
4.8 in
5.9 mph
40 mph
2.1 mph
South (182°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
71.4° F
(-1.9° F)
0 mi
51.8° F
(+5.8° F)
0 mi
8.2 in
2.5 mph
21.9 mph
0.6 mph
Southwest (228°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
79.8° F
(-3.7° F)
0 mi
61° F
(+4.5° F)
0 mi
7 in
4.2 mph
25.3 mph
1.6 mph
South Southeast (160°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
79.9° F
(+1.7° F)
4 mi
60.3° F
(+3.9° F)
4 mi
2.9 in
4.6 mph
22.5 mph
1.8 mph
South Southwest (209°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

« Back to Newsletters