Recap Shows a Warm, Wet Winter in Carolinas

The State Climate Office of North Carolina has posted their winter recap blog just a few days ago and to give us some more in depth views of what this winter has been like the winter that is now in our rearview mirror. I am talking with Corey Davis, Assistant State Climatologist for North Carolina, and it was a warm, wet winter overall, Corey, both in North and South Carolina.

That’s right. Mike. You know, we wait to put this winter recap out until the middle of March has started very warm, and the entire winter was pretty warm across the Carolinas. The data that we’re seeing is showing the 19th warmest winter on record for North Carolina that’s based on data going back to 1895. And, it was the 29th warmest for South Carolina. So again, both areas were pretty warm for the entire season. There was really only one stretch of days in late January where we had any cold temperatures got down into the teens for a few nights. But aside from that, we had four more days where it got up into the 60s, even the 70s on some occasions. And then we had some of those cooler days where it was stuck like in the 30s and 40s. And then in terms of precipitation we know especially the start of winter was very wet December the first half of January, brought some really good soaking rain events across the Carolinas.

So how long do we expect this El Nino pattern to continue?

A lot of the forecasts are showing a potential flip back to a La Nina. We tend to see more hurricane activity in the Atlantic during those low Nino events because they reduce the wind shear in the atmosphere the Atlantic is also at record warm levels right now. Just to put into perspective. We’re in the middle of March, the sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic right now are more typical of the middle of May. So again, very warm water there at the moment all of that would support more activity in the tropics. Again, potentially could see more storms heading our direction, maybe see a little more rainfall late this summer or early fall. But then after that by mid-fall to especially early winter, why El Ninos tend to be a little bit drier and also warmer for us. So that means we may not get quite as much rain or especially snow going into next winter.