Annual Precipitation Distribution

A Winter Weather Climatology for the Southeastern United States

Christopher Fuhrmann and Charles E. Konrad, II

Department of Geography
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Frozen Precipitation Distribution Across NCFrozen precipitation (liquid equivalent) is most abundant along the Appalachian Plateau in southern West Virginia (at least 3.0 inches per year) and southwest Virginia (2.2 to 2.6 inches per year). Annual totals decrease to the south and southeast where the Piedmont of Virginia and North Carolina experience between 1.0 and 2.0 inches and the coastal plain of the Carolinas generally less than one inch.

Snow Distribution Across NCLiquid equivalent snowfall totals follow a similar spatial pattern, with at least 2.0 inches at Beckley, WV, between 0.5 and 1.5 inches in the Piedmont, and negligible amounts along the coastal plain.

Sleet Distribution Across NCAnnual sleet totals are quite low relative to the other precipitation types, although a well-defined maximum exists in the eastern Piedmont of North Carolina (at least 0.1 inches). Along the windward slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, sleet is so rare that annual averages approach zero.

Freezing Rain Distribution Across NCIn regards to freezing rain , annual averages of over 0.6 inches occur in the western and central Piedmont of North Carolina and Virginia and 0.3 inches in the upstate of South Carolina and northeast Georgia. Less than 0.1 inches of freezing rain are observed in the Tennessee Valley, along the coastal plain, and in central South Carolina.

Cold Rain Distribution Across NCCold rain, like snow, is most frequent in southern West Virginia (4.0 to 4.8 inches per year). More generally, cold rain is relatively frequent along the windward slopes of the Appalachian Mountains and in the western Piedmont of North Carolina (3.0 to 3.6 inches per year).

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