The average temperature in 2019 not only set a record as the warmest in North Carolina in more than 120 years years, but it blew that benchmark out of the water.
The statewide average temperature was 61.22 degrees, a full 2.7 degrees warmer than the average measured from 1901 to 2000, according to a blog post by state climatologist Kathie Dello and applied climatologist Corey Davis.
Last year North Carolina tied or broke 881 daily maximum temperature records, which was almost four times the number of broken or tied daily minimum records, the scientists reported.
May and September were among the top five warmest months, as was October. Remember October? Remember the sun searing your scalp at high noon? The Raleigh-Durham International Airport hit 100 degrees on Oct. 3, the first time the reporting station ever experienced its yearly high during that month, according to the National Weather Service..
So if it seems hotter to you, it’s not your imagination. In the past 30 years, North Carolina has recorded each of its five warmest years on record — 2019, 1990, 2017, 2016 and 1998 – along with 10 of its 30 warmest years.
None of those years were among North Carolina’s 30 coolest years on record.
2020 has started with 14 consecutive days of above-average temperatures/ These are occurring not only during the day, but at night as well. The low on Jan. 13 at RDU was 64. The average: 31 degrees.
Weather Underground, which provides historical data from the National Weather Service, shows that the daily average temperature –add the high and the low and divide by 2 — has been off the charts. Just yesterday, the daily average was 64.64 degrees. The historical “normal”: 41.
Dello and Davis delivered more bad news about our changing climate: In North Carolina, the climate is projected to warm anywhere from 4 to 10 degrees by the end of the century.
“Benchmarks like this record don’t just make for coffee-shop small talk; they’re the evidence in the case pointing to this global phenomenon hitting us here in our backyard. These numbers and records have actual consequences and translate into impacts – to our people and our livelihoods,” they wrote.