It really does always snow in Charlotte..no really it does!

It’s been 4 days now since what many feel was a disappointing winter storm around the Charlotte area. I won’t lie even though it never was going to be a big storm for Charlotte and points South.

It still under performed,  I at least expected a dusting to a 1” with lots of melting. The map below pretty much expresses mine and most peoples feelings on the final snow totals.

I even got a few cool songs about how it never snows here anymore.

 

 

Well even though the storm was kind of lame it still snowed for 4 hours mixed with rain at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Which is the official weather reporting site for the Charlotte metro area. The official climate summary for the day read snowfall as a Trace. A Trace is defined as precipitation that falls liquid or frozen that is less than 0.01”. Snow is only measured to the closets 0.10” so trace amounts of snow could technically be as much as 0.09” without being measured.

1-21-2013 11-46-48 AM

This is significant because believe it or not this keeps our streak of always seeing at least a trace of snow in Charlotte every winter since records began. Let me repeat that… snow has fallen in Charlotte “officially” every winter since records began! Those records go back to 1878 which is now going on 135 years. I know what many people are saying. “I remember years without snow!!!!” . Well a few things to remember about this follows…

  1. This is only at the officially reporting station. Which is the airport since 1939 and before that Uptown Charlotte.
  2. You may have slept through some snow and not even known it.
  3. This is the big one and please don’t take it the wrong way, but a persons memory is a horrible recording tool for weather information. Smile

I know it seems harsh but if you ever played telephone as a kid or told stories of fishing you know our human memory isn’t all that great. I mean we have eye witnesses to crimes all the time that tell different stories. So memory of weather past isn’t a great measuring stick. (pun intended)

That’s the main reason we have one unified “official” reporting sites to determine what has happened in Charlotte over the year. Granted it’s not a great sample of the entire metro and many years indeed it may not have snowed in your neighborhood.

For a city that averages just 4.7” of snow it is remarkable that we ALWAYS get a least a little bit of snow. What I think is even more remarkable is of the 135 years in the snowfall record only 12 of those was it just a trace. That’s means in 91% of all the winters in Charlotte we actually had measurable snowfall! Astounding to say the least for our southern city. I should note too that sleet is often counted as snowfall in the climate record so this might explain many years where the “Cold Wedge” actually gave us sleet which was counted as snow.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof from the record books. Remember this a winter stat so it’s measured from Oct-May in-between years when the season of winter occurs.

For other fun Charlotte snow facts see my previous blog on the topic!

 

 

CHARLOTTE MONTHLY SNOW1878Present
SEASONOCTNOVDECJANFEBMARAPRMAYWNT
18781879T0.82.33.1
187918800.30.23.54.0
1880188115.03.6T0.118.7
188118822.56.38.8
1882188311.92.9T14.8
188318841.50.92.4
18841885T0.84.911.717.4
188518860.92.6T3.5
18861887T7.26.0T13.2
18871888TTTT
18881889T8.58.5
18891890TT1.01.0
189018912.0TT2.0
18911892T2.82.8
189218934.013.51.5T19.0
18931894T7.2T7.2
189418952.21.014.5TT17.7
189518960.50.11.00.42.0
1896189711.01.112.1
189718981.0TT1.0
189818995.56.5TT12.0
189919000.80.1T0.9
190019011.0T1.0
19011902T17.417.4
19021903TTT
19031904TT1.51.60.83.9
19041905T3.3T3.26.5
190519063.0T3.0
190619071.5TT2.8T4.3
190719081.80.82.10.95.6
190819090.1TT
190919100.23.00.23.4
191019110.10.1
191119126.03.82.612.4
191219131.3TT0.41.7
19131914TT0.18.16.6T14.8
19141915TT6.70.67.3
191519160.43.0T3.4
191619170.8T0.21.0
191719186.81.5T8.3
191819190.3T3.74.0
191919202.2TT2.2
192019214.72.97.6
192119221.81.23.0
192219230.50.20.7
192319242.42.34.7
192419251.0T1.0
192519262.8T6.7T9.5
192619271.8T13.315.1
192719281.3TTTT1.3
19281929T3.53.5
19291930T2.36.08.3
19301931T10.42.0T4.717.1
193119320.20.2
193219333.80.40.34.5
193319340.40.4
19341935TTT
19351936T10.54.76.7TT21.9
19361937TT5.1T5.1
19371938TTTTT
19381939TT0.21.41.6
19391940T7.8T2.810.6
194019412.81.34.1
194119421.48.12.912.4
194219430.6TT0.20.8
194319440.71.80.3T2.8
19441945TTT
194519465.40.66.0
19461947T1.31.3
194719485.80.47.113.3
19481949T0.60.6
194919500.1T0.1
19501951TT0.2TT0.2
19511952T0.1T4.0T4.1
19521953TTTTTT
19531954T3.5TT3.5
19541955TT8.6T0.18.7
19551956TT0.5TT0.5
19561957TTTT
19571958T1.02.23.2
195819593.0TT1.34.3
19591960T3.319.322.6
196019610.31.20.8T2.3
19611962T11.7TT1.413.1
19621963TTT2.52.5
19631964T1.10.60.2T1.9
19641965T11.21.0T12.2
196519669.61.110.7
19661967TT5.45.4
19671968T4.32.4T6.7
196819692.5TT13.23.018.7
19691970T4.5T4.5
197019712.70.10.85.79.3
19711972T7.50.53.711.7
19721973T5.51.06.5
197319745.4T1.46.8
19741975T1.00.21.2
197519760.5TTT0.5
19761977TT3.4T3.4
19771978TT0.74.85.5
197819790.414.915.3
197919800.47.36.814.5
198019810.31.8TT2.1
19811982T4.85.90.110.8
19821983T0.81.510.312.6
19831984TTT5.95.9
19841985T1.7T1.7
19851986TT0.3T0.3
198619875.62.10.3T8.0
19871988T12.112.1
19881989T3.5T3.5
19891990T0.6TT0.6
19901991T1.0TT1.0
19911992TTT
19921993TT1.61.6
199319942.6TT2.6
19941995TTTT
199519963.0TT3.0
19961997T0.10.40.5
199719982.91.50.54.9
19981999TT1.40.51.9
19992000T9.29.2
200020012.50.2TT2.7
200120024.44.4
20022003T9.50.610.1
20032004T1.313.214.5
200420050.8T0.8
20052006TTTT
20062007TT1.01.0
20072008T1.41.4
20082009TT4.04.0
20092010T2.72.80.45.9
201020112.04.1T6.1
20112012TT
09.1142.6234238.6132.26.500762.9
  • You reference this as a Southern city (which obviously it is), but as a child growing up in North Florida, Atlanta was like the North. And I remember hearing stories about how Atlanta would get snow. I just assumed Charlotte got snow every year since it was north of Atlanta. Now for us in N. Florida, the only time I remember winter weather was when they’d call for freezing temps overnight and our neighbor would run his sprinkler on his trees – making for a winter wonderland to us snow-deprived children of the Deep South.