Posted by: Roby Robertson | March 4, 2008

Lake Norman Weather Goes Beyond Four Seasons

You want spring, summer, autumn and winter? The Lake Norman region has them all — and more.

Anyone who follows our weather closely knows there are several other meteorological seasons in the region.

Winter begins Dec. 21, but cold weather arrives earlier. The snow “season” — when it actually happens — comes late in winter.

 Your Lake Norman and Charlotte Area Current Weather Conditions.

So here’s a look at our area’s real weather seasons:

Hurricane season: This is from August into early October. We keep an eye on the Atlantic basin, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes that strike the Carolinas coast usually don’t bring much more than rain showers to Lake Norman, but dying tropical storms and hurricanes sometimes bring weak tornadoes and flooding rains to our region. The worst storms? Those that come inland in Florida or Alabama, then move across Georgia and the western Carolinas.

Late summer/fall: From mid-August until November (unless there’s a hurricane nearby), our weather is quiet and dry. Morning fog is frequent in August and September, but so are sunny, mild (if not hot) days. Leaf-viewing can be spectacular in the mountains, starting in mid-October. Here in the Lake Norman Area, the peak color time is early November.

Early winter: Late November to late January. Temperatures get cold around Thanksgiving, but snow, sleet and freezing rain are not common. Never mind the “average” high and low temperatures, which are in the lower 50s and lower 30s. Temperatures vary considerably from day to day.

Snow season: Late January into early March is the most likely time of year for snow. Lake Norman averages 5.2 inches of snow per year, but the last two winters have been snowless. Then again, more than 13 inches fell in a single storm in February 2004. Snow in late February and March can be heavy — but it melts within a day or two, normally.

Wet and wild season: February into early April is the rainy season, with a number of storm systems each year that produce day-long rains. This is also the time of year that typically produces the highest likelihood of tornadoes. Warm air pushing back northward from the Gulf of Mexico clashes with cold air from the north.

Quiet spring: April and early May are among our driest times of year. We often get lengthy strings of nice days, with plenty of blooming foliage.

Summer arrives: By mid to late May, we get consistent spells of warm days, with high temperatures in the middle and upper 80s.

Thunderstorm season: From early- to mid-June into early- or mid-August, storms form in the steamy heat of the afternoon and drift from the mountains into the foothills and Piedmont. Vivid lightning and gusty winds accompany the storms, but truly severe weather is uncommon. By later in the evening, the storms are gone, skies have cleared, conditions are steamy as ever.

Weather Facts

AVERAGE JANUARY TEMPERATURES: 50 (high) and 30 (low).

AVERAGE JULY TEMPERATURES: 90 and 70.

COLDEST EVER IN CHARLOTTE: 5 degrees below zero (Dec. 30, 1880; Feb. 14, 1899; and Jan. 21, 1985)

HOTTEST EVER: 104 degrees (Sept. 6, 1954).

AVERAGE SNOWFALL: 5.2 inches.

RAINIEST MONTHS: March and July.

Source: The Charlotte Observer

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