Forecast: Fair and Fabulous

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wakeboardingJUST AS CHARLOTTE'S LOCATION offers residents the benefits of both the mountains and the ocean, it also offers the best of all worlds in weather. This makes the city’s weather one of its strongest assets, attracting visitors and new residents alike. The year is filled with days that invite you outside to enjoy the clear blue sky and bright sun, the perfect backdrop to Charlotte’s beautifully landscaped neighborhoods, commercial areas, parks and lakes.

The area’s climate can best be described as moderate, pleasant and sunny. Forget about the winter blues of our northern neighbors or the stifling summer heat of our southern friends. In Charlotte, the weather entices you outside all year.

Friendly Winters
Charlotte’s winter offers you a taste of the old man without all the shoveling, swerving and salt. Only half of the winter days fall below freezing and sub-zero (-18°C) temperatures have only occurred five times since 1878.

Snow is infrequent, with an average annual accumulation of less than six inches, but Charlotte is only two hours away from excellent snow skiing in the North Carolina mountains. Residents can enjoy the snow without having to endure it.

floatingFavorable Summers
The summer months lure Charlotteans outside. The bright sun and clear skies, dappled with pure white clouds, fill the summer days. Unlike cities to the south though, very hot weather conditions (90°F, 32°F) occur only 40 days in Charlotte compared to 81 days in Jacksonville, Fla., and 83 days in Houston, Texas. On the average, temperatures reach 100°F (38°C) only twice a year. With an average summer temperature of 76°F (24°C) and an average daily range of 20 degrees, these inviting days are punctuated by cool nights under starry skies. 

Fantastic Springs and Autumns
The transformations of the seasons in Charlotte are the most breathtaking times of the year. The slow emergence of spring, from mid-March through May, provides residents with a visual extravaganza. The Carolina blue skies accentuate the pinks, reds, yellows, purples and soft whites of the spring blooms which fill the city. Those same skies, crisp and clear, provide the setting for the brilliant array of colors which paint the trees during a fall that extends well into November.

Both seasons are appreciably long, providing a slow, enjoyable gateway into summer or winter. The average frost free season lasts 216 days from mid-March to mid-November. October and November welcome the cool temperatures, inviting people outside to enjoy those brilliant fall colors, which rival those of New England but are unknown in the deep south.

Balanced Rainfall
Once again the Charlotte climate offers the best of both worlds. The necessary rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year with an average annual precipitation of 43 inches (107.5 cm). By comparison, Miami has 60 inches (150 cm) and Denver 13 inches (32.5 cm). The summer months host the heaviest rainfall; March is the wettest month with 4.4 inches (11.2 cm), and November is the driest month with 3.0 inches (7.7 cm) of precipitation.

These refreshing rains are well balanced. Only occasionally will Charlotte have dry spells, which last one to three weeks. Droughts are rare, and Charlotte has never had a major flood. Though occasional lowland flooding occurs, local stream and river basins are sufficient to carry most rainfalls effectively.

Relative Humidity
Relatively speaking, Charlotte is not the sultry South many think it to be. The city’s normal summer humidity is 74 percent, compared to 80 percent in the central interior of the United States, 77 percent in Jacksonville, Fla., and 76 percent in Houston. Yearly morning humidity averages 83 percent, noon humidity 54 percent and evening humidity 61 percent.

Absence of Severe Weather
Severe weather, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, is a rarity in Charlotte. The city is located outside principal tornado zones, and the typical path of hurricanes along the east coast is such that storm centers are usually at sea by the time storms reach this latitude. The few storms that pass close to the North Carolina coast have little adverse effect on Charlotte.

 

Normal Temperatures, Highs, Lows, and Precipitation

 

 

January

June

Annual Precip.

 

City*

Max Fª

Min Fª

Max Fª

Min Fª

Inches

 

Atlanta

51

33

88

69

48.6

 

Baltimore

41

24

87

67

41.8

 

Boston

36

23

82

65

43.8

 

Charlotte

51

32

87

67

43.5

 

Chicago

29

14

83

63

33.3

 

Cincinnati

37

20

86

65

40.1

 

Cleveland

33

19

82

61

35.4

 

Denver

43

16

88

59

15.3

 

Detroit

31

16

83

61

30.9

 

Houston

62

41

94

73

44.8

 

Indianapolis

34

18

85

65

39.1

 

Kansas City

40

19

93

70

28.6

 

Los Angeles

67

48

84

64

14.8

 

Memphis

46

28

90

69

48.5

 

Miami

75

59

89

76

57.5

 

Milwaukee

26

11

80

61

30.9

 

Minneapolis

20

2

83

63

26.3

 

New Orleans

62

43

91

74

59.7

 

New York

37

26

84

69

42.8

 

Philadelphia

39

24

86

67

41.4

 

Phoenix

65

39

105

80

7.1

 

Portland

44

34

80

56

37.4

 

St. Louis

38

20

89

69

33.9

 

San Francisco

55

42

71

53

19.7

 

Seattle

44

34

75

54

38.6

 

Washington, DC

43

28

88

70

39

 

Source: National Climate Data Center — U.S. Dept. of Commerce — 30 year averages. *Largest city within MSAs with over $15 billion in wholesale sales — data unavailable for three cities.


Up to the Minute Forecasts
Accurate weather information for Charlotte is only a phone call away. The Charlotte office of the National Weather Service has a number of ways to keep you informed:

Forecasts: For recorded forecasts for the local area, beaches and mountains, dial 704.570.1000.

Other Weather Information: The National Weather Service, at srh.noaa.gov, provides all types of weather-related information for the Charlotte area and other areas in the Southern region.

NOAA Weather Radio: The continuous broadcast at 162.475 Mhz (VHF-FM) will keep you posted on forecasts, weather watches and warnings, weather map features, educational information and will provide safety tips during severe weather.

Charlotte Climate Summary (monthly average)
Month            


Mo. Temp.

Daily Max. Temp. Fº

Daily Min. Temp. Fº


Average

Relative Humidity

Precip.
Avg. No. of Sunny Days
January 51 32 41 72 4.00 15
February 56 34 44 68 3.55 15
March 64 42 51 68 4.39 17
April 73 49 60 68 2.95 18
May 80 58 68 78 3.66 18
June 87 67 76 80 3.42 18
July 90 71 79 82 3.79 19
August 88 69 78 84 3.72 20
September 82 63 72 83 3.83 19
October 73 51 61 80 3.66 21
November 63 42 51 76 3.36 18
December 54 35 43 73 3.18 16
Year 72 51 61 76 43.51 212
Source: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration; National Weather Service, 30 year averages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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