Over the past several months, the folks at the State Climate Office have added some very useful and informative new tools to their web site, and I thought I would highlight a couple of those today. First, if you're looking to research some history on severe weather events in our state, and how they are distributed in time, or perhaps want to check how a particular storm system impacted North Carolina in a graphical way, you can do so at the "SPC Storm Reports Interactive Map." As examples of what you can do there, I've captured a map that shows counties colored according to the number of tornadoes reported during the 20 years 1991-2010 (first image) and another map showing the tornado tracks during that same time period, color coded according to rated intensity. The map can be zoomed and panned, different date ranges can be selected, and reports for thunderstorm wind damage and severe criteria hail storms are also available.
Another nice addition to the site is a new and improved "weather extremes" page for the state, which allows you to query for the maximum and minimum temperatures, greatest rainfall and greatest snowfall amounts statewide, or by county or individual weather station, and the results can be filtered for a particular month or date as well. As an example, a check of Wake County "all-time" extremes turns up the hottest temperature at 105 F, the coldest at -9, the most rain in a calendar day 8.32 inches and most snowfall in a calendar day 17.9 inches.
I've included links to both features, and also to a recently posted list of SKYWARN spotter training classes that the National Weather Service will be conducting over the next few months, for those of you who may be interested in attending a session and becoming a spotter for the NWS in severe weather situations. With any luck, there will be very little of that in the next few days despite the presence of a slow-moving low pressure area over the region that will likely help trigger an occasional round of showers and storms.