2014 a shade cooler, much wetter than 'normal'
Posted January 20, 2015
Now that we're a ways into the new year, thought I'd take a moment for a quick look at some statistics from the year just ended. The two images here show data from RDU for average temperature and total precipitation and how the year just ended fits in against extremes that go back to 1887.
At the airport for 2014, we ended up with an average temperature of 59.6 degrees, which is a little over half a degree shy of the normal value (which is based on the period 1981-2010). That's a little closer to our coldest year in 1969 than to our warmest, which occurred in 1990. At the airport, our hottest days were July 8 and 14, on which we topped out at 98 degrees. Our coldest high temperature in 2014 was on Jan. 7, when we only reached 25, and our coldest low was 7 degrees on Jan. 30.
When it comes to precipitation, it will not surprise most of you that we ran well above normal, with 55.25 inches for the year, almost a foot above the long-term average. That remains a good bit shy of the wettest year in Raleigh history, which occurred in 1936, but much above the driest year on record here, which happened just three years prior to the wettest.
The rainiest day at the airport in 2014 was July 15, with a whopping 4.21 inches. The snowiest day there was on Feb. 12 when 3.3 inches was recorded.
While this write-up focuses on the readings from Raleigh-Durham International, our friends at the State Climate Office just down the street posted a nice climate review for the state as a whole.
A couple of highlights from that post include that the hottest readings in the state were 100 degrees on different days in Fayetteville and Wilson, the coldest reading was -24 at on Mt. Mitchell, the most precipitation in state for the year was at Lake Toxaway in the southern mountains where 83.1 inches fell, and the driest reading for the year was 30.2 inches at Burlington. They also noted the for the year, 30 tornadoes were confirmed across the state, with nine of those on a single day, April 25. There are lots more details in their post, including some nice maps and a quick wrap-up on Hurricane Arthur.
We've kicked off this week with some pleasant, above-normal temperatures, but it appears we'll drift back to more typical winter temperatures later this week and into the next.