Drought Gone in Carolinas

Welcome to Groundhog Day! Welcome to Groundhog Day! I’m Mike Davis and I’m joined by climatologist Corey Davis. Let’s take a look back at January. We don’t have the full complete numbers now, but I think we’ve got enough that you could say overall, a fairly warm, record warm January?

Well, Mike, we’re still waiting on those final numbers. Like you said, we’ll have to wait a few more days for all the weather stations across the states to report in. But we talked last week that many sites were running about average or maybe a degree or so above average for the month in terms of temperatures. When you factor in those 70-degree days that we have last week. That has definitely bumped our monthly average temperatures up, so most areas look like they are finishing the month with average temperatures anywhere from two to four degrees above normal. Now that is not record territory for the month of January, but it does put us pretty firmly on the warm side of normal. And that’s true across North and South Carolina. We see places like Charleston that are a couple of degrees above average, Fayetteville, North Carolina is almost four degrees above average for the month. Temperatures have been a little bit cooler as you head further west. But even many of those areas like the looks like they’ll finish the month a little warmer than normal.

The other thing that was really notable to me about the month was of course the rainfall and we had a lot let’s talk about that for just a moment. How wet was January for North and South Carolina?

Well it really depends on where in the state that you were at the further west you got generally the wetter you were and that was true of our latest rain. event that we had last weekend. A pretty strong cold front moved through, dumped up to six inches of rain across parts of western North and South Carolina. But those totals generally decreased as you headed further east. It especially if you were east of us one or so. Those areas saw next to no rainfall so we’ve seen an interesting contrast developed just over the last couple of weeks. Most areas in the western part of the state are going to finish as wetter than normal. And in some places like in Asheville and Greenville, South Carolina and the Triad, it looks like they will have their second wettest January on record. But again, as you head further east more toward the coastal areas. Some of those places like Charleston and Wilmington and Hatteras are going to finish an inch or two drier than normal. Interesting. Like you said, it seems like it’s been pretty wet but the last couple of weeks they have missed out and not seeing quite as much rainfall. Now this is not a sign that those areas are slipping back into drought. They were plenty wet back in December. But again it is interesting to see the contrast there. Such a big difference between the very wet areas in the west and places in the east that actually had been a little bit drier in the last month.