This year’s snowy winter has actually been slightly warmer than average in Charlotte

slyttle@charlotteobserver.comFebruary 28, 2014 

  • Charlotte’s winter

    December: Temperatures were 4 degrees above average. Rainfall was heavy, with 7.13 inches (3.88 inches above average).

    January: A very cold month, with temperatures 4.6 degrees below average (including a low of 6 degrees on Jan. 7). Precipitation was 2.91 inches, or a half-inch below average. We got 0.9 inches of snow.

    February: Temperatures were 1.9 degrees above average. Precipitation was 4.01 inches (.82 above average), with 8.4 inches of snow.

    Overall: Temperatures were about 0.4 degrees above average. Precipitation totaled more than 14 inches, about 4 inches above average). The 9.3 inches of snow was about 3.7 inches above average.

Meteorologically speaking, Winter 2013-14 ended Friday – and Saturday is the first day of spring.

While much of the country is enduring its most brutal winter in decades, the Charlotte region escaped with temperatures a bit above average.

But don’t pack away the winter clothes yet.

“This time of year, it’s pretty common to have some very changeable weather, and that seems to be in our future,” said Doug Outlaw, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C.

For statistical purposes, forecasters consider the period from December through February to constitute winter. Often, they say, the weather follows that pattern. But not this year.

A bit of snow or freezing rain is possible around daybreak Saturday, and computer models are hinting at the possibility of a major winter storm in the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday.

In between that, Charlotte could see temperatures near 70 degrees Sunday and Monday.

That is exactly what forecasters are expecting for March and possibly early April in the Southeast. They are predicting winter to hold tough north of the Mason-Dixon line into April, while the Southeast goes through a changeable period that includes gradual warming.

“The slow spring transition will be complicated by rather wet and stormy weather at times in the Midwest, East and especially the South,” said Alex Sosnowski, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather.

While Charlotte twice endured morning lows in single digits and got 9.3 inches of snow, several inches above average, temperatures overall this winter have been a bit above average.

That, forecasters say, is because several periods of mild weather in December and February offset January’s very cold conditions.

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