Local News

Recent Weather Makes N.C. Winters Seem Worse Than Before

Posted February 19, 2004

— North Carolina has dealt with a lot of wintry weather this year, not to mention canceled classes, work delays and icy roads.

"I would say this winter does seem to be colder and snowier," Triangle resident Mike Montague said.

Storm after storm have dusted the area with a few inches here, a few inches there. All the snow in the Triangle has not gone unnoticed.

"I think people feel like they haven't gotten a break," WRAL Chief Meterologist Greg Fishel said.

It seems as if North Carolina winters may be getting worse. But are they really?

The average snowfall for the Triangle is 8 inches a winter. So far, this year, we've had 8.4 inches.

Although the amounts are about average, we do seem to be getting snow more frequently. The perception is this is a bad winter. But that is only because, for so many years, the winters were unusually mild.

"From 1990 to 1994, every winter was a complete joke," Fishel said. "It was like pulling teeth to get one flake to fall. Then, from the mid-'90s and 2000s, things have been a lot more active."

Who could forget the blizzard in January 2000? A record 25 inches fell that month. Then, there was all that ice in December 2002.

This year, there have been no big, slow-moving storms, just a bunch of little ones.

"There's an upper-level pattern, an atmospheric pattern that we are in right now that brings us a lot of fast-moving storms as part of the southern jet stream," said associate state climatologist Ryan Boyles.

So, have the shovel handy. Be prepared for another snow day.

Because, in the South these days, it is not unusual to feel like you live up North.

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