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 CharlotteDouglas 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.
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…
 This is only at the officially reporting station. Which is the airport since 1939 and before that Uptown Charlotte.
 You may have slept through some snow and not even known it.
 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.
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 OctMay inbetween 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