NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC

April 2012 Climate Update

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North Carolina Climate, the monthly newsletter of the State Climate Office of NC, covers information on our new Climate Thresholds tool, a training video for our NWS Local Storm Reports product, updates on CoCoRaHS in North Carolina, and a monthly climate summary for March with impacts across the state.
PDF version available for printing.

 

New Climate Thresholds Tool!

The Climate Thresholds tool provides historical information regarding different thresholds of temperature, precipitation and snowfall at various locations across the state of North Carolina. Users are able to select any location of interest in North Carolina, as well as a threshold of interest for maximum or minimum temperature, precipitation or snowfall, to obtain statistics based on that location's historical data. In addition the tool allows users to retrieve information on the average first day, the average last day, or the average number of days their threshold of interest occurs. For example, a user can find the average first day where snowfall is greater than an inch in Boone, NC, or the average first day where the minimum temperature is below freezing (32°F) in Raleigh, NC. For maximum and minimum temperatures specifically, the tool also allows users to consider the number of days between two different thresholds.

The Climate Thresholds Tool is now available on the State Climate Office website at:
http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/thresholds/intro.php

A training video for the tool will be available in the near future.

 

New Training Video for the LSR Database!

The Local Storm Reports database tool provides quick access to storm reports issued by the National Weather Service, including events such as thunderstorm and winter weather hazards, flooding, and storm damage. A training video was recently created to highlight the features this tool offers. Check out the new video embedded below, or by visiting the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUIt9ElhhDw

 

NC Repeats as CoCoRaHS March Madness Champion!

Thanks to all of the volunteers that help make the CoCoRaHS program a success in NC. For the second year in a row, North Carolina wins the CoCoRaHS Cup for having the most new volunteers sign up during CoCoRaHS March Madness! And it's not too late to sign up – anyone can volunteer at any time to report their rain, hail and snow observations through this national grassroots network. These data are used by weather enthusiasts and professionals around the nation, including National Weather Service and the State Climate Offices.

To sign up for CoCoRaHs, please fill out the application located on the CoCoRaHS website at:
http://www.cocorahs.org/Application.aspx

 

Climate Summary: Record Warmth Across Much of NC

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

March 2012 in North Carolina will largely be remembered for the unusual warmth and near record temperatures across most of the state. Many locations (including Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, New Bern, Greenville, and Elizabeth City) reported the warmest average temperatures for their respective periods of record. Statewide, the average temperatures for North Carolina ranked as the 3rd warmest since 1895. The warmest March statewide occurred in 1945. For many, the warm March was welcome, and brought many temperate days perfect for outdoor activities.

Rainfall in March was generally much closer to normal as compared to previous months. While still below normal, statewide average rainfall ranked only as the 53rd driest since 1895. In comparison, the previous season ranked as the 6th driest winter on record.

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


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


Local Storm Reports for March 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

For many fruit growers, the warm weather in March brought earlier emergence and faster production, which could cause problems if an otherwise normally-timed freeze occurs. However, that freeze never occurred in most high-risk areas, and the likelihood of a freeze rapidly decreases with each day in April.

Water supplies benefited from more normal rainfall amounts, especially in eastern NC. Falls Reservoir, which serves the City of Raleigh and many downstream needs, finally reached a normal level in March. Most surface reservoirs are at near-normal capacity for this time of the year, which will help both municipal and agricultural needs through the summer.


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

Drought Monitor

 

Does a Warm Winter and Spring Mean a Warm Summer for NC?

With near record warmth over the past 4 months, we are taking lots of calls about what might happen this summer. Based on studies in the Climate Office, we find that winter conditions are not at all a predictor of summertime conditions. We have many examples of warm winters that lead to warm summers, but still more examples in NC where warm winters lead to normal or cool summers. So the summer outlook is still anyone's guess. But as usual, this is nothing new – we never have any meaningful predictability in summer more than a few weeks in advance.

 

Statewide Summary for March 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)
70.8° F
(+7.6° F)
4 mi
51.7° F
(+10.9° F)
4 mi
3.1 in
2.8 mph
25.3 mph
1.1 mph
South Southwest (210°)
Boone, NC (BOON)
64.3° F
(+14.3° F)
1 mi
42.4° F
(+13.1° F)
1 mi
2.4 in
5.6 mph
34.7 mph
3.7 mph
West Southwest (257°)
Buckland, NC (BUCK)
70.7° F
(+10.6° F)
15 mi
45.8° F
(+10° F)
15 mi
3.9 in
2.2 mph
18 mph
0.8 mph
South Southwest (212°)
Burnsville, NC (BURN)
65° F
(+7.9° F)
8 mi
41.1° F
(+10.6° F)
8 mi
4.9 in
3.7 mph
26.2 mph
1.6 mph
Northwest (307°)
Castle Hayne, NC (CAST)
72.9° F
(+6.4° F)
0 mi
50.1° F
(+8° F)
0 mi
4.5 in
3.3 mph
27.2 mph
1.1 mph
West Southwest (239°)
Clayton, NC (CLAY)
71.2° F
(+8.5° F)
3 mi
49.5° F
(+11.7° F)
3 mi
3 in
4.4 mph
33.7 mph
2 mph
West Southwest (237°)
Clayton, NC (CLA2)
72.6° F
(+9.9° F)
3 mi
47° F
(+9.2° F)
3 mi
6.5 in
1.6 mph
24.1 mph
0.5 mph
West Southwest (248°)
Clinton, NC (CLIN)
72.6° F
(+8.6° F)
0 mi
50.1° F
(+8.6° F)
0 mi
3.6 in
4.3 mph
24.6 mph
2.7 mph
Southeast (141°)
Durham, NC (DURH)
71.8° F
(+9.7° F)
6 mi
46.4° F
(+9.4° F)
6 mi
4.4 in
3 mph
24.2 mph
1.6 mph
Southwest (235°)
Fletcher, NC (FLET)
67.8° F
(+9.9° F)
0 mi
43.2° F
(+10.9° F)
0 mi
3.4 in
2.6 mph
24.7 mph
1.3 mph
North (356°)
Franklin, NC (WINE)
56.9° F
(-3.4° F)
11 mi
39.7° F
(+7.2° F)
11 mi
7.8 in
6.4 mph
32.3 mph
3.5 mph
West (271°)
Goldsboro, NC (GOLD)
71.8° F
(+6.2° F)
5 mi
49.2° F
(+7.6° F)
5 mi
5.7 in
4.3 mph
31.7 mph
1.3 mph
Southwest (235°)
Greensboro, NC (NCAT)
69.7° F
(+9.4° F)
12 mi
47.7° F
(+9.9° F)
12 mi
5.3 in
1.9 mph
20.5 mph
1.2 mph
West Southwest (241°)
Hamlet, NC (HAML)
74.7° F
(+8.7° F)
4 mi
49.4° F
(+12.3° F)
4 mi
4 in
4.3 mph
30 mph
1.5 mph
Southwest (229°)
Hendersonville, NC (BEAR)
57.3° F
(-2.7° F)
7 mi
43.6° F
(+9.2° F)
7 mi
1.7 in
11.1 mph
46.1 mph
6.2 mph
West (273°)
High Point, NC (HIGH)
70.6° F
(+7.5° F)
2 mi
46.6° F
(+7.6° F)
2 mi
3.4 in
2 mph
21.9 mph
0.8 mph
West (267°)
Kinston, NC (KINS)
72° F
(+4.2° F)
0 mi
49.8° F
(+9.2° F)
0 mi
4.5 in
4.5 mph
29.3 mph
2.2 mph
Southwest (217°)
Lewiston, NC (LEWS)
70.8° F
(+8.1° F)
0 mi
47.5° F
(+9.4° F)
0 mi
3.8 in
4.6 mph
33.7 mph
1.9 mph
Southwest (227°)
Lilesville, NC (LILE)
74.1° F
(+10° F)
9 mi
50.9° F
(+9.7° F)
9 mi
2.6 in
3.5 mph
24.4 mph
0.3 mph
West (265°)
New London, NC (NEWL)
72.2° F
(+9.3° F)
2 mi
45.8° F
(+9.1° F)
2 mi
2.8 in
2.8 mph
38.7 mph
0.8 mph
West Northwest (298°)
Oxford, NC (OXFO)
69.7° F
(+8.7° F)
0 mi
49.2° F
(+13.3° F)
0 mi
3.5 in
3.5 mph
30.6 mph
1.8 mph
West Southwest (242°)
Plymouth, NC (PLYM)
70.2° F
(+4.8° F)
2 mi
47.6° F
(+7° F)
2 mi
4 in
5.8 mph
35.3 mph
1.5 mph
Southwest (231°)
Raleigh, NC (LAKE)
70.8° F
(+7° F)
0 mi
48.9° F
(+8.1° F)
0 mi
4.2 in
4.7 mph
33.5 mph
2.2 mph
West Southwest (251°)
Rocky Mount, NC (ROCK)
71.3° F
(+8.4° F)
0 mi
48.1° F
(+9° F)
0 mi
3.2 in
4.2 mph
27.4 mph
1.6 mph
Southwest (223°)
Salisbury, NC (SALI)
71° F
(+10.2° F)
0 mi
45.3° F
(+8.6° F)
0 mi
2.7 in
2.4 mph
27.8 mph
1.1 mph
West Northwest (283°)
Siler City, NC (SILR)
70.7° F
(+8.7° F)
5 mi
44.2° F
(+5.3° F)
5 mi
3.1 in
3.1 mph
21.8 mph
1 mph
West (270°)
Waynesville, NC (WAYN)
66.3° F
(+7.9° F)
0 mi
41.5° F
(+10.8° F)
0 mi
3.7 in
2.2 mph
27.3 mph
0.2 mph
Northwest (305°)
Whiteville, NC (WHIT)
74.1° F
(+6.1° F)
0 mi
49.6° F
(+8.8° F)
0 mi
5.2 in
2.8 mph
23.8 mph
1.1 mph
South Southwest (209°)
Williamston, NC (WILL)
71.2° F
(+8.2° F)
4 mi
48.2° F
(+7.2° F)
4 mi
4.8 in
2.9 mph
30.9 mph
1.2 mph
Southwest (232°)
Legend:
Parameter
Parameter's value approximated from hourly data.
( +/- Departure from normal )
Distance to reference station

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