WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

2014 a shade cooler, much wetter than 'normal'

Posted January 20, 2015

Summary of temperature statistics for 2014 at the Raleigh-Durham airport.

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.


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  • Jim Hinnant Jan 21, 2015
    user avatar

    2014 - "Hottest year on record"

  • cdurham Jan 20, 2015

    It was the best summer weather we've had in several years. We weren't recording multiple days of 100 plus degrees. No drought too! I hope it continues.

  • John Miller Jan 20, 2015
    user avatar

    Everyone chill, there's too much hot air here.

  • notexactly Jan 20, 2015

    View quoted thread

    That's a good one! They just will never get it. Wasting our time trying to get them to see the other side of the mystery. I feel for them, they have been AL GOREDDDDDD>

  • notexactly Jan 20, 2015

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    Really? What are the answers then? I haven't seen any! I do not doubt anything about the climate changing. ( pay attention) The earth has been hotter and colder long before us. That is a fact. So to say we are causing the earth to warm by ourselves is idiotic. So how then do you and your scientists explain how the earth warmed to higher temps and cooled to the ice age by itself? That's all I am saying. Your scientists have plenty of answers I am sure, but no factual ones to answer this question. I have no doubt we are contributing to warming, but I have many doubts in why it matters and how to stop something that happened long ago without us even being here. Now theres a thought for the believers. I will never believe data when it is one sided as it is now. sorry for you if you do. You must have believed Obama when he sold us the aca garbage too. Look where that went. Like I said one sided data.

  • jimcricket15 Jan 20, 2015

    MMM this does not bode well for my desire to grow oranges in my backyard.

    "Climate scientists do have answers for that:

    NO they don't. Believe what you want. I choose to believe the group of climate scientists that predicted another ice age. After all according to you these guys know everything. How odd that the earth's climate has changed long before humans were around. Hmmm must have been some garden gnomes burning leaves that kicked off the warming trend.

  • dennis8 Jan 20, 2015

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    Climate scientists do have answers for that but as long as you believe that humans walked with dinosaurs then you will never believe the data.

  • notexactly Jan 20, 2015

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    perhaps, but the last major ice age was much more than in 1850. My point is the earth has been frozen and much hotter in the past without us contributing. Until they can come up with an answer to that, then I don't buy the end of the world climate change garbage. I do not deny climate change or that we may be contributing....... But it has done it before without us..........

  • notexactly Jan 20, 2015

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    Same to you. Um your pal al gore said that way back when. My point is I don't believe it matters. You can agree with that or not!!! There are many things open for debate. just because you don't think that doesn't make it true. Well in your dem world I guess it don't. The facts you claim are not all there. The ice caps were not here millions of years ago. So now they are and melting, so what? Your scientists know no more about the last million years than today. They THINK they know. Your scientists have no proof of anything other than what they have measured in the last 150 years. So if we are coming out of any ice age, (you know frozen) why would you or those igits think we would not be warming. Are we speeding it up, perhaps, can we stop it???? NOPE. Whos idiotic again????

  • Dean Logan Jan 20, 2015
    user avatar

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    Actually, the last "ice age" ended around 1850, which is near the time of recorded weather. At the most, the lows, highs and averages only point towards a normalization of temperatures that were warmer before the "Little Ice Age".

    We could be entering the down cycle right now.