North Carolina Climate Year Round

Most of the North Carolina area experiences a humid subtropical climate with those in higher elevations of the Appalachians an exemption as they have a humid continental climate. For starters, a humid subtropical climate is characterized by hot humid summers and chilly mild winters and that rain showers often occur in most areas. The humid continental climate, on the other hand, is marked by variable weather patterns and seasonal temperature variance, meaning the temperature between the hottest and coldest months, sometimes may range between 33 degree Celsius and -22 degree Celsius, although the temperature in most of the State ranges from 10 degrees Celsius (the coldest: January) to 32 degrees Celsius (the warmest: July). North Carolina’s kind of climate varies from the Atlantic coast in the Appalachian Mountain range.

Average rainfall in North Carolina ranges from forty-five to fifty inches a year, with July the month of July bringing the most precipitation, as the warm season attributed to 15% of the rain due to tropical cyclones. Snow is regularly seen in the mountains, while most of the State experiencing 5 inches of snow every year. Some areas have registered less than two inches like Wilmington having 1.9 inches of snow and Cape Hatteras with two inches while others have documented a much higher snowfall range, with Charlotte averaging 6.5 inches, Raleigh at 7.5 inches and Piedmont at 9 inches. The mountains in the area have served as a shield to possible thicker snowfall in the State. North Carolina’s proximity to the Atlantic Coast has made the area frequent stopovers of hurricanes.

Some of the most devastating hurricanes are category 4 Hurricane Hazel (1954) that caused major destruction and category 3 Hurricane Fran (1996) that caused landfall in Cape Fear. North Carolina’s experience of economic loss is deeply attributed to severe weather caused by summer thunderstorms and tornados. Despite situated outside the tornado alley, North Carolina still experiences an average of two to three tornadoes a year.

Spring in North Carolina serves as a transition from winter to summer. Here is the time when the temperature is slowly rising after the cold weather, especially in the month of May. This is also the time when humidity is at its lowest and when tornadoes are most likely to happen. Hot temperatures in North Carolina happens in summer, although places in higher elevations remain colder and as stated earlier, thunderstorms and cyclones usually happen during this season. Temperatures during fall change at its fastest, especially in October and November leading to winter. The average winter temperature in the area: -12 degrees Celsius although -34 degrees Fahrenheit was tabulated on January 21, 1985, at Mount Mitchell, the highest recorded temperature in the State.