Whiteside Mountain

July 2011 Climate Update

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North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers a monthly climate summary for June with impacts across the state, information on our new Open Water Evaporation Tool, and a brief overview of the SCO’s participation in StormFest.
PDF version available for printing.

 

Climate Summary

Temperature and Precipitation by climate division
Departures from Normal for June 2011
Based on Preliminary Data
Temperature and Precipitation Departures from Normal

June 2011 was hot and dry in North Carolina. Temperatures were generally more than 3 F above normal for the month, and most of central and eastern NC received less than 75% of normal rainfall. For many locations in North Carolina, June 2011 was one of the warmest and driest on record. While June 2011 ranked as the one of the 10 warmest such months on record for most locations, Asheville, Concord, Lumberton, Wilmington, Raleigh, Greenville, and New Bern all recorded mean temperatures that ranked in the top 4 warmest for June. Cape Hatteras broke a new record for monthly mean temperature – the record was previously set in June 1952.

Moreover, many locations in eastern NC continued to experience very dry conditions. Most of the region east of I95 is ranking as top 5 driest on record for the period April – June. Wilmington, New Bern, and Cape Hatteras have experienced the driest such period on record.

Despite the drought conditions in central and eastern NC, there were substantial storms that brought heavy rain, damaging winds and hail to North Carolina in June. A series of intense thunderstorms caused localized flooding in the Triad region, and there were numerous reports of quarter-size hail in the Asheville area.

Local Storms Reports for June 2011
Preliminary Count of LSRs courtesy National Weather Service
LSR Summary for June 2011


Precipitation for June 2011
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP
MPE Precipitation


Precipitation for June 2011: Percent of Normal
Based on estimates from NWS Radar
Data courtesy NWS/NCEP
MPE Precipitation Percent of Normal

 

Impacts to Agriculture and Water Resources

The lack of timely precipitation in eastern North Carolina has worsened drought conditions and caused substantial damage. Groundwater conditions at several monitoring wells are at new record lows for this time of the year, and some communities have implemented water restrictions in response to the drought.

One of the most dominant impacts has been to corn production. For growers that planted early, the drought in eastern counties has ruined much of their corn crop, which needed moisture during the critical silking stage. Without adequate moisture during this period, kernels will not set and develop even if rain falls later. Substantial corn losses are expected in eastern NC counties that have been hardest hit by drought.


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

June 2011 Drought Monitor

 

Open Water Evaportation Tool
by Heather Dinon

The Penman-Monteith combination equation estimates the rate of moisture transport away from a surface (i.e. evaporation rate from soil or water surfaces and transpiration rate from plant surfaces) since this parameter is only observed at a limited number of locations across the southeastern United States. The total moisture flux from the ground to the atmosphere plays an important role in the water and energy balance on earth's surface, and is of particular interest to agricultural and irrigation practices.

By modifying the Penman-Monteith combination equation for an open water surface and using the same methodology as in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) paper number 56, an equation to estimate open water evaporation has been derived. Specific characteristics include an albedo of 0.05, height of 2mm, and a canopy surface resistance of zero since the surface is open water. Similar to the FAO56 Penman Monteith method, this technique requires physical atmospheric observations of solar radiation, temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. In situations with no measured solar radiation data, the Hargreaves and Samani (1985) solar radiation estimation technique is utilized as an input to the modified Penman-Monteith equation. The open water evaporation estimate is dependent on time of year and location so the equation also requires parameters of day of year, elevation, and latitude. For more detailed information on the FAO56 Penman-Monteith method, please refer to the UN FAO56 Penman-Monteith documentation.

Two products display the open water evaporation values across the Southeast U.S. using Google Maps and Charts. One map-based product is a daily open water evaporation estimate, which allows the user to select a date (YYYY-MM-DD) from January 1, 1945 to yesterday. The other map-based product is a historical climate tool, which displays average monthly total and daily average open water evaporation values, both calculated over the eight-year period from 2002-2009. From the dynamic or historical map products, users can display an annual time series for a particular station.


Historical open water evaporation estimates for July.



Average monthly open water evaporation for Raleigh, NC (KRDU).

To access the Open Water Evaporation Tool, visit http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/openwaterevap.

 

StormFest 2011
by Heather Dinon

The 2nd Annual StormFest event took place on Saturday, June 18th at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Over 4,000 visitors had the opportunity to learn about severe weather from various agencies such as the National Weather Service, Wake County Emergency Management, and WRAL-TV. SCO scientists presented a booth on the history of severe weather in NC. A real-time data feed from a prototype ECONet weather station helped attendees to visualize how certain instruments, such as an anemometer and pyranometer, respond to changes in wind speed and solar radiation, respectively. A tornado machine, which was built by a scientist at the SCO, was also featured to teach visitors about how tornadoes form. SCO products, services, and educational materials were highlighted as well.


SCO instrumentation technician Sean Heuser demonstrating a tower of weather sensors with StormFest visitors.



SCO environmental meteorologist John McGuire showing off his home-made tornado machine.

 

Statewide Summary for June 2011

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)
89.7° F
(+4.2° F)
4 mi
70.6° F
(+5.2° F)
4 mi
2.6 in
2.8 mph
22.1 mph
1.9 mph
South Southwest (209°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
83.5° F
(+10.6° F)
1 mi
60° F
(+5.5° F)
1 mi
5.2 in
3.9 mph
30.8 mph
2.9 mph
West (274°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
89.3° F
(+4.8° F)
15 mi
64.9° F
(+3.6° F)
15 mi
1.4 in
1.9 mph
16.4 mph
1.1 mph
West Southwest (241°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
90.8° F
(+3.9° F)
0 mi
69.7° F
(+4.1° F)
0 mi
0.7 in
3.5 mph
23.4 mph
2.1 mph
Southwest (234°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
90° F
(+3.3° F)
3 mi
68.5° F
(+4.4° F)
3 mi
1.4 in
3.8 mph
33.8 mph
2.1 mph
West Southwest (256°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
91.3° F
(+4.6° F)
3 mi
65.2° F
(+1.1° F)
3 mi
2.7 in
1.3 mph
15.6 mph
0.6 mph
West (264°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
91.1° F
(+4.5° F)
0 mi
68.9° F
(+3.5° F)
0 mi
2.9 in
3.8 mph
25.9 mph
2.6 mph
South Southeast (147°)
Durham, NC (DURH)
91.4° F
(+6.4° F)
6 mi
66.2° F
(+0.8° F)
6 mi
1.8 in
2.4 mph
26.6 mph
1.3 mph
West Southwest (252°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
84.8° F
(+4.5° F)
0 mi
59.9° F
(+3.9° F)
0 mi
3.4 in
1.7 mph
24.9 mph
1.4 mph
North (360°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
88.2° F
(+4.4° F)
12 mi
66° F
(+2.5° F)
12 mi
8.8 in
2.7 mph
28.6 mph
2 mph
West (269°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
73.5° F
(-7.5° F)
7 mi
60.6° F
(+4° F)
7 mi
4.5 in
8 mph
52.5 mph
6.4 mph
West Northwest (301°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
88.8° F
(+3.3° F)
2 mi
65.4° F
(+2.3° F)
2 mi
4.1 in
1.3 mph
19.3 mph
0.8 mph
West Northwest (287°)
Jackson Springs, NC (JACK)
90.6° F
(+4.7° F)
0 mi
67.8° F
(+2.7° F)
0 mi
4 in
3.6 mph
37 mph
1.6 mph
West (278°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
90.2° F
(+1.3° F)
0 mi
68.9° F
(+3.9° F)
0 mi
2.8 in
4.1 mph
37.2 mph
2.6 mph
Southwest (223°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
88.8° F
(+3.2° F)
0 mi
67.8° F
(+5.1° F)
0 mi
1.6 in
2.2 mph
26.3 mph
1.3 mph
West Southwest (250°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
91.4° F
(+4.7° F)
9 mi
68.5° F
(+2.4° F)
9 mi
2.5 in
3.2 mph
24.6 mph
0.5 mph
Northwest (318°)
Mount Mitchell, NC (MITC)
65.9° F
(+1° F)
0 mi
53.2° F
(+4.2° F)
0 mi
7.1 in
14.2 mph
66 mph
13.9 mph
West Northwest (293°)
New London, NC (NEWL)
93.1° F
(+7.7° F)
2 mi
64.5° F
(+1.5° F)
2 mi
1.4 in
1.5 mph
35.6 mph
0.2 mph
North Northeast (30°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
88.2° F
(+3.7° F)
0 mi
67° F
(+5.4° F)
0 mi
2.3 in
1.9 mph
18.8 mph
1 mph
West (259°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
90.3° F
(+3.3° F)
2 mi
65.5° F
(+0.5° F)
2 mi
1.7 in
4.2 mph
32.9 mph
2.3 mph
West Southwest (253°)
Raleigh, NC (REED)
89.4° F
(+5° F)
3 mi
68° F
(+3° F)
3 mi
3.5 in
2.3 mph
25.9 mph
1.2 mph
West Northwest (296°)
Reidsville, NC (REID)
87.2° F
(+2.8° F)
0 mi
65.9° F
(+3.5° F)
0 mi
5.5 in
2.7 mph
26.9 mph
1.6 mph
West Northwest (303°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
89.1° F
(+3.1° F)
0 mi
67.6° F
(+3.7° F)
0 mi
5.1 in
1.9 mph
25.3 mph
1 mph
West Southwest (237°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
89.3° F
(+5.1° F)
0 mi
64.6° F
(+2.2° F)
0 mi
3.5 in
1.6 mph
27.7 mph
0.8 mph
West Northwest (294°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
89.8° F
(+5.1° F)
5 mi
62.9° F
(-0.5° F)
5 mi
1.4 in
2.7 mph
26.2 mph
1.1 mph
West (275°)
Taylorsville, NC (TAYL)
87° F
62.5° F
2.5 in
1.1 mph
21.7 mph
0.7 mph
West Northwest (298°)
Wallace, NC (WILD)
92.6° F
(+4.5° F)
8 mi
67.8° F
(+2° F)
8 mi
2.7 in
4 mph
37.1 mph
2 mph
Southwest (228°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
81.4° F
(+1.8° F)
0 mi
57.8° F
(+4.4° F)
0 mi
5.5 in
1.2 mph
31.1 mph
0.5 mph
North Northeast (24°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
91.5° F
(+2.2° F)
0 mi
68.8° F
(+4.2° F)
0 mi
1.7 in
2.1 mph
23.5 mph
0.9 mph
Southwest (221°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
88.9° F
(+4° F)
4 mi
67.4° F
(+3.1° F)
4 mi
1.9 in
2.6 mph
25.8 mph
1.6 mph
West Southwest (246°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

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