Hi - we are thinking of moving to the Chapel Hill area from the UK this summer. As we do not get humid weather in the UK, can you please tell us how many summer months have high humidity (and what the typical temperature / humidity levels are), and if you are seeing the temperatures increasing year-on-year? We are just a bit concerned that we might find the summers there too hot and humid, especially for our kids!
Posted June 11, 2008
MIKE MOSS SAYS: Gary, It's hard to be sure what you'd find tolerable or not. Generally speaking, our peak heat and humidity months are June, July and August, with occasional excursions into a few steamy days in May and September (the latter a bit more so than the former). Here is a brief table with monthly averages for high temperature, afternoon relative humidity, and the heat index value that corresponds to those two for the months I noted above.
May 79 53% 80
Jun 86 55% 89
Jul 89 57% 96
Aug 87 58% 92
Sep 81 58% 83
Between late May and early September, it is not unusual for us to have two or three periods of about 4-6 days with temperatures that reach the mid 90s to low 100s, and dew points in the mid 60s to low 70s (pushing heat indices to around 105 to 110). Likewise, there are usually two or three periods of below normal temperature and slightly less humid conditions, with significant periods that hew rather closely to the averages shown above. The past century or so that has shown an increase in global mean temperatures has remained fairly flat across the southeastern U.S., including North Carolina, without much of an overall trend. However, there are shorter multi-decade trends within this period, including a warming tend of about a degree and a half for NC on average from the mid 60s through the early 2000s.
Good luck with your decision, and best wishes for a successful move and stay here if you choose to relocate!