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2011 Weather and Climate Year in Review
Here is the 2011 Weather and Climate Summary for Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina including the cities of Wilmington, Florence, Myrtle Beach and Lumberton.


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
1106 AM EST MON JAN 2 2012

...2011 WEATHER AND CLIMATE YEAR IN REVIEW...

.SYNOPSIS...
MUCH LIKE 2010...2011 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS ANOTHER YEAR WITH VERY 
LARGE TEMPERATURE EXTREMES FROM WINTER TO SUMMER. YEAR BEGAN WITH A 
CONTINUATION OF THE EXTREME COLD EXPERIENCED IN DECEMBER 2010. 
SPRING ARRIVED ON-SCHEDULE AND BROUGHT WIDESPREAD SEVERE WEATHER 
INCLUDING TWO LARGE MULTI-STATE TORNADO OUTBREAKS THAT AFFECTED THE 
EASTERN CAROLINAS. SUMMER WAS HOT AND DRY AND WOULD HAVE BEEN EVEN 
DRIER HAD HURRICANE IRENE NOT AFFECTED THE COAST IN AUGUST. DROUGHT 
WORSENED THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER WITH NO RELIEF EXPERIENCED INTO THE 
FALL AND WINTER MONTHS. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF WELL-BELOW NORMAL 
TEMPERATURES IN JANUARY AND A COOL OCTOBER...2011 AVERAGED ABOVE 
NORMAL FOR TEMPERATURES.

.HIGHLIGHTS...
A LA NINA PATTERN WAS OVERWHELMED BY A PERSISTENTLY NEGATIVE
NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION (NAO) AND MADE JANUARY 2011 ONE OF
THE COLDEST MONTHS ON RECORD FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED
STATES. FREEZING TEMPERATURES WERE RECORDED 23 TIMES DURING THE
MONTH OF JANUARY IN WILMINGTON AND 22 TIMES IN FLORENCE...ALMOST
TWICE AS OFTEN AS IS NORMAL FOR BOTH CITIES. LOW PRESSURE MOVING
EAST ALONG THE GULF COAST BROUGHT A SUBSTANTIAL SNOWFALL TO THE
CAROLINAS JANUARY 10TH...WITH SNOW ACCUMULATIONS RANGING FROM
AROUND 4 INCHES IN WILMINGTON TO AS MUCH AS 7 TO 9 INCHES FROM
LUMBERTON INTO BENNETTSVILLE SC. SNOW CHANGED TO A PERIOD OF
SLEET...THEN TO FREEZING RAIN BEFORE ENDING AS WARMER AIR BUILT IN
ALOFT. HOWEVER VERY LITTLE SNOW OR ICE ACCUMULATED DURING THE
STORM ALONG THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST.

THE WEATHER PATTERN SHIFTED IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH WITH TEMPERATURES 
RETURNING TO NEAR-NORMAL. AS TEMPERATURES WARMED FURTHER DURING THE 
MONTH OF APRIL...SEVERE WEATHER BECAME WIDESPREAD ACROSS THE 
SOUTHERN UNITED STATES. HAIL RANGING FROM GOLF BALL TO BASEBALL SIZE 
PELTED THE SOUTH CAROLINA PEE DEE REGION ON APRIL 9TH. INJURIES WERE 
REPORTED WHEN A TREE FELL ON A CAR NEAR CLYDE IN DARLINGTON COUNTY 
SC DURING THE SAME EVENT. A WIDESPREAD TORNADO OUTBREAK APRIL 16TH 
PRODUCED TWO DOZEN TORNADOES ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA...INCLUDING 
CONFIRMED TOUCHDOWNS IN ROBESON...BLADEN...AND COLUMBUS COUNTIES. AN 
EF-2 TORNADO WITH ESTIMATED 130 MPH WINDS NEAR AMMON IN BLADEN 
COUNTY KILLED 3 PEOPLE AND DAMAGED THREE HOMES AND SEVERAL OTHER 
BUILDINGS. AN EF-2 TORNADO IN BLADENBORO KILLED 1 PERSON AND DAMAGED 
MULTIPLE BUILDINGS IN TOWN...THEN CONTINUED ON A 14-MILE PATH 
DAMAGING AND DESTROYING HOMES AND OTHER STRUCTURES. AN EF-1 TORNADO 
WITH ESTIMATED 105 MPH WINDS INJURED 3 PEOPLE NEAR LITTLE ROCK IN 
DILLON COUNTY SC. 

PERHAPS THE LARGEST TORNADO OUTBREAK IN RECORDED HISTORY OCCURRED 
APRIL 25-28 AND KILLED OVER 300 PEOPLE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN UNITED 
STATES. ON APRIL 28TH A SERIES OF FIVE TORNADOES TOUCHED DOWN ACROSS 
PORTIONS OF COLUMBUS AND PENDER COUNTIES...PRODUCING PROPERTY DAMAGE 
BUT NO INJURIES. WIDESPREAD REPORTS OF WIND DAMAGE WERE ALSO 
RECEIVED...ALONG WITH A REPORT OF HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF BASEBALLS 
NEAR CHADBOURN IN COLUMBUS COUNTY. THEN ON MAY 10TH...SEVERE 
THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING WITH TRULY 
STAGGERING HAIL SIZES REPORTED. SOFTBALL SIZE (4.50 INCH DIAMETER) 
HAIL FELL IN CONWAY AND PAMPLICO SC. IF VERIFIED...THESE WOULD BE 
SOME OF THE LARGEST HAILSTONES ON RECORD IN SOUTH CAROLINA. MUCH 
DAMAGE TO VEHICLES FROM THE LARGE HAIL WAS REPORTED.

DRY AND HOT CONDITIONS DEVELOPED TOWARD THE END OF MAY AND PERSISTED 
THROUGH THE SUMMER. JUNE TEMPERATURES WERE 3 TO 6 DEGREES ABOVE 
NORMAL WITH 1 TO 3 DEGREE POSITIVE DEPARTURES CONTINUING INTO 
JULY...NORMALLY OUR HOTTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR. TEMPERATURES ROSE 100 
DEGREES OR HOTTER 7 TIMES IN WILMINGTON (TWICE IN JUNE...5 TIMES IN 
JULY) WHICH TIES WITH THE YEAR 1952 FOR THE LARGEST NUMBER OF 100+ 
DAYS IN ONE YEAR. MORE AND MORE OF THE REGION WAS CLASSIFIED IN 
SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT (D2 TO D4) AS RAINFALL DEFICITS CONTINUED 
TO INCREASE DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS. THE DRY CONDITIONS LED TO 
SEVERAL LARGE WILDFIRES IN THE EASTERN CAROLINAS. THE LARGEST WERE 
THE JUNIPER ROAD FIRE IN THE HOLLY SHELTER SWAMP (31,100 ACRES)... 
THE HORNET FIRE IN HORRY COUNTY SC (1400 ACRES)...AND THE SIMMONS 
ROAD FIRE IN BLADEN COUNTY (5400 ACRES). THE SIMMONS ROAD FIRE 
DESTROYED THREE HOMES AND NUMEROUS OUTBUILDINGS.

HURRICANE IRENE WAS THE ONLY HURRICANE TO AFFECT THE REGION THIS 
YEAR. IRENE DEVELOPED ON AUGUST 21ST NEAR THE LESSER ANTILLES 
ISLANDS FROM A TROPICAL WAVE. THE STORM BECAME A MAJOR CATEGORY 3 
HURRICANE WHILE MOVING INTO THE BAHAMAS...BUT WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY 
1 STORM BEFORE MAKING LANDFALL EAST OF MOREHEAD CITY DURING THE 
MORNING OF AUGUST 27TH. PEAK WIND GUSTS REACHED 70 MPH AT 
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH...66 MPH IN WILMINGTON...53 MPH IN SOUTHPORT... 
AND 45 MPH IN NORTH MYRTLE BEACH. AN UNOFFICIAL GUST TO 68 MPH WAS 
REPORTED FROM BALD HEAD ISLAND. PORTIONS OF COASTAL SOUTHEAST NORTH 
CAROLINA PICKED UP 6-8 INCHES OF RAIN FROM THE STORM...ALTHOUGH 
WELCOME RAINFALL DID NOT EXTEND PARTICULARLY FAR INLAND.

DRIER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS CONTINUED INTO THE FALL AND EARLY 
WINTER. BY THE END OF THE YEAR ANNUAL RAINFALL DEFICITS WERE 
APPROACHING 20 INCHES FROM GEORGETOWN THROUGH MYRTLE BEACH AND INTO 
BRUNSWICK COUNTY NC...AND MUCH OF THE REGION WAS CLASSIFIED IN 
MODERATE (D1) DROUGHT CONDITIONS. FLORENCE SC RECORDED THEIR SECOND 
DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD DATING BACK TO 1948. HAD HURRICANE IRENE NOT 
DROPPED HALF A FOOT OF RAIN ON WILMINGTON IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE 9TH 
DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD HERE. THE FIRST FALL FREEZE OCCURRED FOR 
INLAND AREAS ON OCTOBER 30TH...ONE TO TWO WEEKS EARLIER THAN NORMAL. 
DESPITE THE EARLY FREEZE...NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER AVERAGED WARMER 
THAN NORMAL WITH DECEMBER TEMPERATURES RUNNING A VERY MILD 3-5 
DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.


*** WILMINGTON NC   2011 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) ***

    AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP  AVG T/DEP  WARMEST   COOLEST   PRECIP/DEP

JAN  49.9/-6.5  29.9/-5.7  39.9/-6.1   70/1ST   17/23RD   2.35/-1.41
FEB  60.9/+1.0  39.1/+1.2  50.0/+1.1   80/27TH  24/11TH   4.81/+1.19
MAR  65.6/-0.8  43.4/-0.4  54.5/-0.6   86/23RD+ 31/29TH+  2.89/-1.32
APR  76.3/+2.1  54.3/+2.7  65.3/+2.4   90/20TH  35/3RD    0.86/-1.96
MAY  81.9/+1.2  60.8/+0.8  71.4/+1.0   91/31ST+ 46/6TH    1.63/-2.86
JUN  91.6/+4.7  70.7/+2.0  81.1/+3.3  101/20TH  60/15TH   2.42/-2.76
JUL  92.1/+2.7  73.3/+0.7  82.7/+1.6  102/13TH  63/17TH   3.53/-3.95
AUG  90.0/+1.9  72.9/+1.6  81.5/+1.8   99/8TH   64/31ST  12.52/+5.11
SEP  83.7/+0.0  67.0/+1.4  75.3/+0.7   91/15TH+ 59/16TH   7.46/-0.38
OCT  74.2/-1.5  53.1/-1.5  63.6/-1.6   86/17TH  34/30TH   1.93/-1.96
NOV  70.8/+2.8  45.8/+0.4  58.3/+1.6   80/22ND+ 32/18TH+  2.97/-0.32 
DEC  64.8/+5.5  40.5/+2.7  52.7/+4.1   78/22ND  28/19TH   0.59/-3.03
---------------------------------------------------------------------
ANN  75.2/+1.1  54.2/+0.4  64.7/+0.7  102       17      43.96/-13.65

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES...
 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 59
 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 38

HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 2331
COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2343

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION...
 0.01 OR GREATER: 106
 0.10 OR GREATER: 61
 0.50 OR GREATER: 29
 1.00 OR GREATER: 1

SNOW OR SLEET FELL ON 4 DAYS. 
MEASURABLE SNOW FELL ON 2 DAYS (1/10 AND 1/22) TOTALLING 3.9 INCHES.

AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 7.3 MPH
MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 49 MPH ON 6/23
MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST:  75 MPH ON 6/23



*** FLORENCE SC   2011 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) ***

    AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP  AVG T/DEP  WARMEST   COOLEST   PRECIP/DEP

JAN  50.3/-5.0  29.5/-5.1  39.9/-5.0   73/30TH  16/23RD+  0.84/-2.32
FEB  63.6/+4.0  39.7/+2.2  51.6/+3.1   84/28TH  25/13TH+  3.87/+0.85
MAR  67.4/-0.2  43.9/+0.3  55.6/+0.0   86/22ND+ 29/12TH   4.16/+0.83
APR  78.4/+2.6  52.9/+2.2  65.7/+2.4   87/27TH+ 32/6TH    3.40/+0.78
MAY  83.4/+0.7  61.3/+1.9  72.3/+1.2   96/31ST  45/5TH    1.60/-1.66
JUN  94.4/+6.0  71.2/+3.2  82.8/+4.6  102/20TH  64/15TH+  0.30/-4.32
JUL  95.4/+4.4  72.7/+1.3  84.0/+2.8  102/22ND  65/18TH   4.73/-0.53
AUG  92.8/+3.4  70.8/+0.3  81.8/+1.9  100/8TH   64/16TH   2.74/-2.50
SEP  85.4/+1.2  65.1/+0.8  75.2/+1.0   94/15TH  57/17TH   2.95/-0.72
OCT  73.8/-1.7  49.2/-3.9  61.5/-2.8   87/17TH  31/30TH   1.57/-1.51
NOV  69.8/+2.7  42.8/-0.9  56.3/+0.9   84/16TH  29/18TH+  1.18/-1.49 
DEC  64.5/+6.7  39.5/+3.0  52.0/+4.9   78/22ND  28/29TH   1.25/-1.76
---------------------------------------------------------------------
ANN  76.6/+2.0  53.2/+0.4  64.9/+1.2  102       16       28.46/-14.45

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES...
 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 98
 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 42

HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 2369
COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2458

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION...
 0.01 OR GREATER: 97
 0.10 OR GREATER: 52
 0.50 OR GREATER: 21
 1.00 OR GREATER: 4

AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 6.5 MPH
MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 37 MPH ON 8/11
MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST:  55 MPH ON 6/19



*** NORTH MYRTLE BEACH SC   2011 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) ***

    AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP  AVG T/DEP  WARMEST   COOLEST   PRECIP/DEP

JAN  49.6/-5.5  31.2/-5.0  40.4/-5.3   68/2ND   17/23RD   1.63/-2.06
FEB  59.1/+1.7  40.5/+1.9  49.8/+1.8   73/19TH  27/13TH   4.28/+0.86
MAR  64.9/+0.8  44.2/-0.1  54.6/+0.4   85/23RD  32/12TH   3.40/-0.52
APR  72.8/+1.5  55.5/+3.6  64.2/+2.6   85/21ST  36/3RD    0.70/-2.26
MAY  78.2/-0.4  63.5/+2.7  70.9/+1.2   96/31ST  47/5TH    5.27/+1.86
JUN  87.5/+3.0  72.7/+3.4  80.1/+3.2   98/20TH  65/4TH    0.85/-3.79
JUL  88.7/+1.1  74.4/+1.3  81.5/+1.2   96/13TH  66/18TH+  2.97/-2.93
AUG  89.0/+2.9  73.4/+1.7  81.2/+2.3   98/2ND   66/31ST   4.54/-2.87
SEP  83.8/+0.4  67.7/+0.8  75.8/+0.7   88/10TH+ 59/16TH   3.72/-2.56
OCT  74.0/-1.1  52.6/-3.1  63.3/-2.1   83/15TH  33/30TH   2.19/-1.69
NOV  69.0/+2.4  45.6/-0.8  57.3/+0.8   77/21ST+ 30/12TH   2.90/-0.14 
DEC  63.4/+4.9  41.1/+2.1  52.3/+3.5   76/16TH  30/29TH+  0.48/-2.98
---------------------------------------------------------------------
ANN  73.3/+0.9  55.2/+0.6  64.3/+0.8   98       17       32.93/-19.08

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES...
 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 26
 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 32

HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 2351
COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2204

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION...
 0.01 OR GREATER: 92
 0.10 OR GREATER: 55
 0.50 OR GREATER: 24
 1.00 OR GREATER: 8

AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 7.5 MPH
MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 36 MPH ON 12/27
MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST:  49 MPH ON 8/26



*** LUMBERTON NC   2011 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) ***

    AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP  AVG T/DEP  WARMEST   COOLEST   PRECIP/DEP

JAN  49.1/-4.6  28.7/-4.5  38.9/-4.5   71/30TH+ 16/23RD   1.14/-1.86
FEB  62.1/+4.1  38.4/+2.8  50.2/+3.4   83/28TH  24/11TH   3.52/+0.62
MAR  65.2/-1.1  42.4/+0.4  53.8/-0.3   85/22ND  28/2ND    3.87/+0.54
APR  77.3/+2.8  51.1/+2.1  64.2/+2.5   87/24TH+ 33/6TH+   1.95/-0.87
MAY  84.0/+1.9  59.8/+2.2  71.9/+2.1   99/31ST  45/6TH+   3.04/-0.01
JUN  93.4/+4.9  70.3/+2.9  81.8/+3.8  101/21ST  61/4TH    2.52/-1.82
JUL  93.9/+2.9  73.0/+1.7  83.5/+2.4  101/18TH+ 66/18TH+  4.61/-0.87
AUG  91.8/+3.5  70.7/+1.0  81.3/+2.3  100/4TH+  64/31ST+ 10.92/+5.42
SEP  84.3/+0.6  64.7/+2.3  74.5/+1.5   92/15TH  56/30TH   2.94/-1.86
OCT  73.4/-2.1  48.0/-3.3  60.7/-2.7   86/17TH  31/30TH   2.89/+0.32
NOV  68.6/+1.4  42.7/+1.3  55.7/+1.4   84/16TH  29/12TH   3.14/+0.27 
DEC  62.5/+5.7  39.2/+3.6  50.8/+4.6   76/22ND+ 27/29TH+  0.79/-2.10
---------------------------------------------------------------------
ANN  75.5/+1.6  52.4/+1.0  63.9/+1.3  101       16       41.33/-2.19

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES...
 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 84
 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 52

HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 2600
COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2321

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION...
 0.01 OR GREATER: 108
 0.10 OR GREATER: 73
 0.50 OR GREATER: 28
 1.00 OR GREATER: 8

AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 5.5 MPH
MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 39 MPH ON 12/07
MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST: 48 MPH ON 4/16

$$

TRA




2011 Annual Temperature/Precipitation Graphics: Wilmington 2011 Climate Graphic
Florence 2011 Climate Graphic
North Myrtle Beach 2011 Climate Graphic
Lumberton 2011 Climate Graphic



Rainfall Graphics
2011 Rainfall Departure, Southeast US
2011 Rainfall Departure, Southeastern United States. Red colors indicate areas more than 12 inches below normal.


2011 Rainfall Departure, Carolinas
2011 Rainfall Departure, Carolinas. Red colors indicate areas more than 12 inches below normal, and dark red indicates areas more than 20 inches below normal.


2011 Rainfall Percent of Normal, Southeast US
2011 Rainfall Percent of Normal. Orange areas received less than 75 percent of normal rainfall.


2011 Rainfall Percent of Normal, Carolinas
2011 Rainfall Percent of Normal. Orange areas received less than 75 percent of normal rainfall.



National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Wilmington, NC
2015 Gardner Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
(910) 762-4289

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Page Last Modified: January 2, 2012
 
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