North Carolina Climate Blog

Climate Summary: January 2014

Statewide Average Precipitation: *3.38 inches (52nd driest since 1895)

Statewide Average Temperature: *33.93°F (7th coldest since 1895)

*Values generated from preliminary numbers

A Cold Start to the New Year
While the big story with the weather in December focused on the high precipitation amounts across the bulk of the state, January's tale is all about temperature. On average, January tends to be the coldest month of the year for North Carolina, and last month was no different. Interspersed with a few days in the 60s and even 70s for some parts of the state, most of the month consisted of colder temperatures coming close to and even breaking records for some locations. Even more significant was the fact the one of the coldest days -- January 7 -- occurred with no snow on the ground, which is not typical for our state. Below are a few graphics depicting the temperature rankings for stations across the state, courtesy of the SERCC's Climate Perspectives tool.

Maximum Temperature Station Rankings for January 2014
Rank is relative to each station's individual period of record.

Minimum Temperature Station Rankings for January 2014
Rank is relative to each station's individual period of record.

Mean Temperature Station Rankings for January 2014
Rank is relative to each station's individual period of record.

While many locations ranked last month as one of the top 10 coldest Januarys on record, the most impressive numbers are perhaps associated with those stations that had a longer period of record (50+ years) and ranked in the top 5. These locations are listed in the tables below. Note that for minimum temperature, 4 locations ranked January 2014 as the coldest January in each respective station's history. These stations -- located in Cleveland, Highlands, Jefferson and Marshall -- have significantly long records of 60 years, 110 years, 78 years, and 111 years, respectively.

CityMaximum Temperature Ranking
Danbury5th coldest
Pisgah Forest4th coldest
Statesville4th coldest
Yadkinville5th coldest

CityMinimum Temperature Ranking
Asheville4th coldest
Charlotte3rd coldest
Concord3rd coldest
Cullowhee3rd coldest
Elizabeth City3rd coldest
Fletcher2nd coldest
Hickory2nd coldest
Kinston5th coldest
Laurinburg4th coldest
Lincolnton3rd coldest
MarionTied for 4th coldest
Monroe3rd coldest
Mount Airy3rd coldest
Pisgah Forest3rd coldest
Statesville2nd coldest
Tryon4th coldest
Waterville3rd coldest
Yadkinville2nd coldest

Temperature Ranking
Charlotte4th coldest
Cleveland4th coldest
Cullowhee4th coldest
Hickory4th coldest
Highlands2nd coldest
Jefferson5th coldest
LaurinburgTied for 3rd coldest
Marshall3rd coldest
Monroe4th coldest
Mount Airy5th coldest
Pisgah Forest4th coldest
Smithfield5th coldest
Statesville4th coldest
Tryon5th coldest
Waterville3rd coldest
Yadkinville2nd coldest

From a Wet December to a Dry January
January 2014 was a relatively dry month, with very little liquid precipitation that amounted to below-normal totals. Perhaps due at least in part to the high rainfall amounts observed in December, last month's predominantly dry weather did not have any significant drought impacts. Currently the southeastern coast is the only area of the state experiencing abnormally dry conditions, as this region has not observed much precipitation in the past few months.

Precipitation Station Rankings for January 2014
Rank is relative to each station's individual period of record.

Precipitation for January 2014
Based on estimates from NWS Radar. Data Courtesy NWS/NCEP.

Precipitation for January 2014: Percent of Normal
Based on estimates from NWS Radar. Data Courtesy NWS/NCEP.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
January 2014 was impacted by 3 winter storms that brought anywhere from a trace up to a foot of snow to parts of North Carolina on January 15-16, January 21-22 and January 28-29. Below is a map of Local Storm Reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Raleigh. While this map is dominated by the snow and ice reports from last month's winter weather, you will also see reports associated with a line of severe weather (hail, high winds, storm damage, and even a funnel cloud) that moved rapidly across the state on January 11.

Local Storm Report Summary for January 2014
Data Courtesy NWS

Over the next few months, we will be transitioning from our standard monthly climate summary to one that focuses solely on graphics and statistics. With more detailed write-ups of specific weather events now coming to you in separate blog posts, our hope is to get weather- and climate-related information for a given month to you in a more timely manner. We'd love your feedback on what graphics and statistics you find meaningful in our current climate summary, as well as any additional features you might like to see included in the future. Feel free to email ( or call (919-515-3056) our office with any suggestions you may have!

Keywords: Climate Summary

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