WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Epic cold or epic bore? The winter of 2013-14

Posted February 27, 2014

How cold has this winter been so far?

With two snowstorms in under three weeks, along with numerous other brushes with wintry weather, you’re forgiven for thinking the winter of 2013-2014 will go on the cold side of the ledger. In fact, according to Daryl Herzmann, a weather researcher at Iowa State University, our area has spent about 20 percent of the time since December 1 — one hour out of every five — below freezing:   

Hours below freezing

As cold as that may look, if we consider the average temperature for the season, this winter has been about as middle-of-the-road as it can get. Climate Central looked at the numbers and found where the winter of 2013-2014 fits in:   

Middle of the road

But, you might say, averages are deceiving! What about those snowstorms? And don’t forget, we had to close schools because it was so cold!

Yes, we had some very cold stretches, but we also had some very warm stretches, too. Greg Fishel broke the season down into consecutive seven-day periods (Dec 1-7, Dec 2-8, Dec 3-9, etc.), and out of 79 periods so far, seven would rank in the top-10 coldest weeks at RDU! However, nine of those periods would rank in the top-10 warmest weeks:   

Week by week

Put it all together, considering that the 5.6 inches of snowfall reported at RDU so far is only ahead of the normal pace by .3 inches (and still well behind the annual average of 7.6 inches), and the winter of 2013-14 starts to look rather boring.

But don’t tell that to the kids sledding behind my house.


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  • snowl Mar 2, 2014

    I just want lots of sunny days, the cold does not bother me that much, but a cloudy plus cold day makes it much worse.

  • north 501 Feb 28, 2014

    It's been a miserable winter.