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

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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.

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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 SNOW 1878 Present
SEASON OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY WNT
1878 1879 T 0.8 2.3 3.1
1879 1880 0.3 0.2 3.5 4.0
1880 1881 15.0 3.6 T 0.1 18.7
1881 1882 2.5 6.3 8.8
1882 1883 11.9 2.9 T 14.8
1883 1884 1.5 0.9 2.4
1884 1885 T 0.8 4.9 11.7 17.4
1885 1886 0.9 2.6 T 3.5
1886 1887 T 7.2 6.0 T 13.2
1887 1888 T T T T
1888 1889 T 8.5 8.5
1889 1890 T T 1.0 1.0
1890 1891 2.0 T T 2.0
1891 1892 T 2.8 2.8
1892 1893 4.0 13.5 1.5 T 19.0
1893 1894 T 7.2 T 7.2
1894 1895 2.2 1.0 14.5 T T 17.7
1895 1896 0.5 0.1 1.0 0.4 2.0
1896 1897 11.0 1.1 12.1
1897 1898 1.0 T T 1.0
1898 1899 5.5 6.5 T T 12.0
1899 1900 0.8 0.1 T 0.9
1900 1901 1.0 T 1.0
1901 1902 T 17.4 17.4
1902 1903 T T T
1903 1904 T T 1.5 1.6 0.8 3.9
1904 1905 T 3.3 T 3.2 6.5
1905 1906 3.0 T 3.0
1906 1907 1.5 T T 2.8 T 4.3
1907 1908 1.8 0.8 2.1 0.9 5.6
1908 1909 0.1 T T
1909 1910 0.2 3.0 0.2 3.4
1910 1911 0.1 0.1
1911 1912 6.0 3.8 2.6 12.4
1912 1913 1.3 T T 0.4 1.7
1913 1914 T T 0.1 8.1 6.6 T 14.8
1914 1915 T T 6.7 0.6 7.3
1915 1916 0.4 3.0 T 3.4
1916 1917 0.8 T 0.2 1.0
1917 1918 6.8 1.5 T 8.3
1918 1919 0.3 T 3.7 4.0
1919 1920 2.2 T T 2.2
1920 1921 4.7 2.9 7.6
1921 1922 1.8 1.2 3.0
1922 1923 0.5 0.2 0.7
1923 1924 2.4 2.3 4.7
1924 1925 1.0 T 1.0
1925 1926 2.8 T 6.7 T 9.5
1926 1927 1.8 T 13.3 15.1
1927 1928 1.3 T T T T 1.3
1928 1929 T 3.5 3.5
1929 1930 T 2.3 6.0 8.3
1930 1931 T 10.4 2.0 T 4.7 17.1
1931 1932 0.2 0.2
1932 1933 3.8 0.4 0.3 4.5
1933 1934 0.4 0.4
1934 1935 T T T
1935 1936 T 10.5 4.7 6.7 T T 21.9
1936 1937 T T 5.1 T 5.1
1937 1938 T T T T T
1938 1939 T T 0.2 1.4 1.6
1939 1940 T 7.8 T 2.8 10.6
1940 1941 2.8 1.3 4.1
1941 1942 1.4 8.1 2.9 12.4
1942 1943 0.6 T T 0.2 0.8
1943 1944 0.7 1.8 0.3 T 2.8
1944 1945 T T T
1945 1946 5.4 0.6 6.0
1946 1947 T 1.3 1.3
1947 1948 5.8 0.4 7.1 13.3
1948 1949 T 0.6 0.6
1949 1950 0.1 T 0.1
1950 1951 T T 0.2 T T 0.2
1951 1952 T 0.1 T 4.0 T 4.1
1952 1953 T T T T T T
1953 1954 T 3.5 T T 3.5
1954 1955 T T 8.6 T 0.1 8.7
1955 1956 T T 0.5 T T 0.5
1956 1957 T T T T
1957 1958 T 1.0 2.2 3.2
1958 1959 3.0 T T 1.3 4.3
1959 1960 T 3.3 19.3 22.6
1960 1961 0.3 1.2 0.8 T 2.3
1961 1962 T 11.7 T T 1.4 13.1
1962 1963 T T T 2.5 2.5
1963 1964 T 1.1 0.6 0.2 T 1.9
1964 1965 T 11.2 1.0 T 12.2
1965 1966 9.6 1.1 10.7
1966 1967 T T 5.4 5.4
1967 1968 T 4.3 2.4 T 6.7
1968 1969 2.5 T T 13.2 3.0 18.7
1969 1970 T 4.5 T 4.5
1970 1971 2.7 0.1 0.8 5.7 9.3
1971 1972 T 7.5 0.5 3.7 11.7
1972 1973 T 5.5 1.0 6.5
1973 1974 5.4 T 1.4 6.8
1974 1975 T 1.0 0.2 1.2
1975 1976 0.5 T T T 0.5
1976 1977 T T 3.4 T 3.4
1977 1978 T T 0.7 4.8 5.5
1978 1979 0.4 14.9 15.3
1979 1980 0.4 7.3 6.8 14.5
1980 1981 0.3 1.8 T T 2.1
1981 1982 T 4.8 5.9 0.1 10.8
1982 1983 T 0.8 1.5 10.3 12.6
1983 1984 T T T 5.9 5.9
1984 1985 T 1.7 T 1.7
1985 1986 T T 0.3 T 0.3
1986 1987 5.6 2.1 0.3 T 8.0
1987 1988 T 12.1 12.1
1988 1989 T 3.5 T 3.5
1989 1990 T 0.6 T T 0.6
1990 1991 T 1.0 T T 1.0
1991 1992 T T T
1992 1993 T T 1.6 1.6
1993 1994 2.6 T T 2.6
1994 1995 T T T T
1995 1996 3.0 T T 3.0
1996 1997 T 0.1 0.4 0.5
1997 1998 2.9 1.5 0.5 4.9
1998 1999 T T 1.4 0.5 1.9
1999 2000 T 9.2 9.2
2000 2001 2.5 0.2 T T 2.7
2001 2002 4.4 4.4
2002 2003 T 9.5 0.6 10.1
2003 2004 T 1.3 13.2 14.5
2004 2005 0.8 T 0.8
2005 2006 T T T T
2006 2007 T T 1.0 1.0
2007 2008 T 1.4 1.4
2008 2009 T T 4.0 4.0
2009 2010 T 2.7 2.8 0.4 5.9
2010 2011 2.0 4.1 T 6.1
2011 2012 T T
0 9.1 142.6 234 238.6 132.2 6.5 0 0 762.9

  • http://www.obsessedwithconformity.com Jim Mitchem

    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.

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