Mountain Sunset

September 2009

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North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers a monthly climate summary for August with impacts to agriculture and water resources, as well as a look at the revamped "Hurricanes" section of the SCO website.
PDF version available for printing.

Climate Summary

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

August 2009 was generally warm with variable rainfall across North Carolina. As is typical of summertime rainfall patterns, some areas experienced heavy rain and localized flooding while other areas experienced dry conditions. The heaviest rainfall was in the northern Mountains, western Piedmont, and coastal plain. Central parts of NC experienced less rain in August. In contrast to the cool July, temperatures in August were generally above normal across the state – August 2009 was the 32nd warmest August for NC since 1895.

As is typical for summer in NC, thunderstorms in August 2009 were locally intense and caused damage. In Wilkes and Yadkin Counties, local storms downed trees and power lines on August 5th. Other storms on August 5th caused local power outages in the Charlotte area. In the mountains, storms caused power outages and washed out a road near Candler, NC on August 11th. Storms knocked down trees and caused localized flooding in Mecklenburg County on August 12th. Lightning associated with storms on August 20th caused fires in Surry County and injured 2 volunteer firefighters.

Coastal NC experienced rough surf associated with the passage of Hurricane Bill and Tropical Storm Danny in August. The rough surf and strong undertow were blamed for the loss of a 12-year old boy near Corolla as TS Danny passed. Heavy thunderstorms near Havelock, NC brought flooding to the military base at Cherry Point. The rain gage at Cherry Point MCAS reported 9.70 inches on August 12th, of which 8.63 inches fell in 3 hours. This rainfall amount is equates to a nearly 500-year event, with an annual probability of occurrence of only 0.2%.

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

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

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

Despite some dry conditions in parts of North Carolina, most crops have received timely rainfall, while soil moisture conditions in August were generally adequate across the state. Most crops are developing well and are at or ahead of conditions at this time last year.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms brought substantial precipitation to many areas, while others experienced much less rain. While localized rainfall is typical during August, the limited rainfall across central NC did have impacts to water resources. Low streams continue in the upper Tar, upper Neuse, and upper Cape Fear River basins. Water storage in two major NC reservoirs, Jordan Lake and Falls Lake, decreased in August. Moderate drought conditions (D1) were introduced into central NC in August in response to limited precipitation, low streams, and decreasing reservoir levels. The NC Drought Management Advisory Council continues to hold weekly monitoring meetings to closely monitor for drought impacts.

 

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

August 2009 Drought

 

New Hurricane Pages!

Courtesy of former intern David Church, our office has recently released a new and improved version of the “Hurricanes” section of the SCO website. These new pages include:

  • A general climatology for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin, including the typical tracks that tropical cyclones affecting NC usually take

  • Basic definitions of tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes

  • Information on the Saffir-Simpson scale, used to classify hurricanes based on their intensity

  • A listing and description of the six conditions necessary for tropical cyclone development

  • A description of the three main features that make a hurricane’s structure

  • An explanation of the tropical cyclone naming system

  • Tropical cyclone statistics for North Carolina from 1851 to present, available through dynamic and interactive charts and graphs, as well as lists of storms that have made direct landfall in NC or affected the state after making landfall elsewhere

  • A tropical cyclone database, which allows users to search for storms based on name, year, intensity (based on category, wind speed, or pressure), and proximity to a given location. All results matching a user’s search criteria will be listed in a table with links to an interactive map of the given storm’s track

The new hurricanes portion of the website can be accessed through “Aspects of NC Climate” in the main menu, or via the “Highlights” section on the home page:
http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/climate/hurricanes

 

Statewide Summary for August 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)
88.5° F
(+0.8° F)
4 mi
72.3° F
(+3.8° F)
4 mi
7.6 in
3.4 mph
23.5 mph
2.1 mph
Southwest (218°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
78.3° F
(+2.9° F)
1 mi
58.4° F
(+1.8° F)
1 mi
6.2 in
3 mph
24.3 mph
1.4 mph
West Southwest (237°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
88.8° F
(+2° F)
15 mi
67.9° F
(+3.9° F)
15 mi
4.3 in
1.7 mph
18.5 mph
0.9 mph
Southwest (226°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
79.5° F
(-1.5° F)
8 mi
60° F
(+3.5° F)
8 mi
3.4 in
2.2 mph
24.4 mph
0.9 mph
Northwest (323°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
87.6° F
(-0.8° F)
0 mi
72° F
(+3.3° F)
0 mi
5.9 in
2.6 mph
26.8 mph
1.3 mph
Southwest (231°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
87° F
(-0.6° F)
3 mi
70.5° F
(+3.3° F)
3 mi
3.2 in
2.9 mph
23.7 mph
1.5 mph
Southwest (235°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
88.8° F
(+1.2° F)
3 mi
68° F
(+0.8° F)
3 mi
5.1 in
1.8 mph
13.6 mph
0.6 mph
Southwest (228°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
87.8° F
(-0.4° F)
0 mi
70.3° F
(+2° F)
0 mi
7.1 in
2.7 mph
27 mph
1.3 mph
Southwest (215°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
82.1° F
(-0.4° F)
0 mi
62.2° F
(+3.2° F)
0 mi
3.9 in
2.4 mph
21.4 mph
1 mph
North Northwest (341°)
Franklin, NC (WINE)
69° F
(-14.2° F)
11 mi
54.9° F
(-6.3° F)
11 mi
6.6 in
4.7 mph
13.9 mph
1.6 mph
West Southwest (255°)
Frying Pan Mountain, NC (FRYI)
73.4° F
(-7.1° F)
10 mi
56.4° F
(-2.6° F)
10 mi
0.2 in
8.1 mph
29.2 mph
5.6 mph
West Southwest (258°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
87.6° F
(-1.7° F)
5 mi
69.9° F
(+0.3° F)
5 mi
3.2 in
3.8 mph
30.5 mph
1.9 mph
South (181°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
89.6° F
(+0.5° F)
4 mi
69.9° F
(+4.1° F)
4 mi
0 in
3.2 mph
24.2 mph
1.1 mph
South Southwest (200°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
71.7° F
(-11.5° F)
7 mi
60.8° F
(+1.2° F)
7 mi
5.8 in
1.3 mph
42.6 mph
0.3 mph
West Northwest (286°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
86.9° F
(-0.5° F)
2 mi
67.3° F
(+1.2° F)
2 mi
0.5 in
1.8 mph
17.2 mph
0.4 mph
Southwest (218°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
86.6° F
(-0.8° F)
0 mi
69.4° F
(+1.5° F)
0 mi
6 in
3.1 mph
28.4 mph
0.8 mph
South Southwest (214°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
89.5° F
(-0.9° F)
5 mi
70.9° F
(+2.6° F)
5 mi
5 in
1.6 mph
18.5 mph
1.3 mph
Southwest (218°)
Laurel Springs, NC (LAUR)
77° F
(-1.3° F)
1 mi
58.3° F
(+3.9° F)
1 mi
5.5 in
2.1 mph
18.7 mph
0.6 mph
West (272°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
88.1° F
(+0.2° F)
0 mi
70.7° F
(+5° F)
0 mi
4.1 in
3.7 mph
29.3 mph
2.1 mph
Southwest (227°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
88.2° F
(-0.3° F)
9 mi
70.4° F
(+1.6° F)
9 mi
2.8 in
2.9 mph
5.8 mph
1.4 mph
South Southwest (210°)
Mount Mitchell, NC (MITC)
65.3° F
(-2.3° F)
1 mi
53.1° F
(+1.5° F)
1 mi
5.8 in
9.5 mph
41.2 mph
5.5 mph
West (273°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
86.8° F
(+0.1° F)
0 mi
69.4° F
(+4.2° F)
0 mi
3.2 in
2.3 mph
23.5 mph
1 mph
West Southwest (242°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
87.5° F
(-0.8° F)
2 mi
70.2° F
(+2.2° F)
2 mi
8 in
4 mph
30.2 mph
2.4 mph
West Southwest (240°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
88° F
(+0.8° F)
0 mi
70.4° F
(+2.2° F)
0 mi
2.2 in
3.3 mph
24 mph
1.8 mph
Southwest (234°)
Raleigh, NC (REED)
87.3° F
(+1.4° F)
3 mi
70.4° F
(+2.3° F)
3 mi
5.6 in
2.7 mph
28.8 mph
1.1 mph
West Southwest (245°)
Reidsville, NC (REID)
86° F
(-0.8° F)
0 mi
67.8° F
(+3.4° F)
0 mi
3.5 in
2.6 mph
29.2 mph
0.9 mph
West (280°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
89.6° F
(+2° F)
0 mi
70.9° F
(+4° F)
0 mi
1.8 in
3.1 mph
28.4 mph
1.7 mph
Southwest (230°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
87.1° F
(+0.8° F)
0 mi
67° F
(+2° F)
0 mi
5.2 in
1.4 mph
24.1 mph
0.4 mph
Northwest (314°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
88.4° F
(+1.6° F)
5 mi
65.4° F
(-0.2° F)
5 mi
1.5 in
3.6 mph
25 mph
1.3 mph
West Southwest (236°)
Taylorsville, NC (TAYL)
85.1° F
65° F
5.1 in
1.1 mph
20.8 mph
0.2 mph
South Southwest (199°)
Wallace, NC (WILD)
88.6° F
(-1.3° F)
8 mi
70° F
(+0.9° F)
8 mi
13.7 in
2.7 mph
39.1 mph
1.4 mph
Southwest (214°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
80.1° F
(-1.4° F)
0 mi
59.4° F
(+3.2° F)
0 mi
2.8 in
1 mph
22.3 mph
0.2 mph
North Northeast (23°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
88.6° F
(-2.4° F)
0 mi
70.3° F
(+2.9° F)
0 mi
6.6 in
1.6 mph
32.4 mph
0.8 mph
South Southwest (200°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
88° F
(+1.1° F)
4 mi
71.2° F
(+3.5° F)
4 mi
1.6 in
3 mph
20.3 mph
1.7 mph
Southwest (235°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

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