Skip Navigation Linksweather.gov   
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Wilmington, NC
 
 
Local forecast by
"City, St" or zip code
  



2012 Weather and Climate Year in Review
The 2012 Weather and Climate Summary for Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina including the cities of Wilmington, Florence, Myrtle Beach and Lumberton.



NOUS42 KILM 011027
PNSILM

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
527 AM EST TUE JAN 1 2013

...2012 CLIMATE YEAR IN REVIEW...

PERSISTENTLY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FROM JANUARY THROUGH JULY... 
HURRICANE SANDY'S CLOSE BRUSH BY THE CAROLINAS IN OCTOBER...AND 
PERIODIC MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT MAINLY ACROSS SOUTH CAROLINA 
WERE THE BIG WEATHER STORIES FOR 2012. 

IN CONTRAST TO THE VERY COLD 2009-2010 AND 2010-2011 WINTERS...THE 
2011-2012 WINTER HAD CONSISTENTLY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES. THE 
COLDEST TEMPERATURES OF THE WINTER OCCURRED ON THE MORNING OF 
JANUARY 4TH WHEN LOWS DIPPED INTO THE UPPER TEENS INLAND TO AROUND 
20 AT THE COAST. THE COLD FRONT THAT BROUGHT THESE COLD
TEMPERATURES ACTUALLY PRODUCED A TRACE OF SNOW ACROSS SOUTHEASTERN 
NORTH CAROLINA DURING THE EARLY MORNING OF JANUARY 3RD...THE ONLY
SNOW OF THE YEAR. COMPARED TO NORMAL...WARM CONDITIONS INTENSIFIED 
IN MARCH AS A STRONG RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE COVERED THE EASTERN 
UNITED STATES A GOOD PORTION OF THE MONTH. TEMPERATURES FOR MARCH 
AVERAGED 7 TO 9 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL...MAKING IT THE WARMEST MARCH 
ON RECORD IN FLORENCE AND THE THIRD WARMEST IN WILMINGTON.

ACCOMPANYING THE WARM WINTER WEATHER WAS DROUGHT...PARTICULARLY 
ACROSS SOUTH CAROLINA. SEVERE DROUGHT (D2) CONDITIONS EXISTED NEAR 
THE COAST IN JANUARY...BECOMING EXTREME (D3) IN THE GEORGETOWN AREA 
IN FEBRUARY. BENEFICIAL RAINFALL BEGINNING DURING THE MONTH OF MAY 
HELPED ALLEVIATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS THROUGH THE SUMMER...BUT BY THE 
END OF NOVEMBER MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) HAD AGAIN DEVELOPED ACROSS 
PORTIONS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA PEE DEE REGION. DROUGHT CONDITIONS 
WERE MUCH MORE SEVERE DURING 2012 ACROSS WESTERN SOUTH CAROLINA AND 
INTO CENTRAL GEORGIA.

THE SPRING/SUMMER SEVERE WEATHER SEASON FEATURED SEVERAL REGIONAL 
OUTBREAKS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS DURING THE AFTERNOON OF MARCH 25TH 
DROPPED NICKEL TO GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL MAINLY IN THE CAPE FEAR 
REGION. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED ON BOTH APRIL 26TH AND 27TH 
WITH NUMEROUS LARGE HAIL REPORTS ACROSS THE AREA. WIDESPREAD SEVERE 
STORMS ON MAY 15TH AND 16TH PRODUCED LARGE HAIL...HIGH WINDS AND 
FLOODING...AND EVEN SENT A GEORGETOWN SC MAN TO THE HOSPITAL WITH A 
NON-FATAL LIGHTNING STRIKE. MORE SEVERE STORMS ON MAY 22ND AND 23RD 
PRODUCED WIDESPREAD LARGE HAIL INCLUDING REPORTS OF GOLF BALL SIZE 
HAIL ACROSS WESTERN COLUMBUS COUNTY AND NEAR HAMPSTEAD IN PENDER 
COUNTY. ON JULY 1ST SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCED WIDESPREAD 
DAMAGING WINDS FROM DARLINGTON AND FLORENCE DOWN TO THE COAST. WIND 
GUSTS AT THE FLORENCE AIRPORT WERE MEASURED AT 69 MPH DURING THIS 
EVENT. 

A PERIOD OF EXTREME HEAT DEVELOPED AT THE END OF JUNE AND CONTINUED 
INTO EARLY JULY...ESTABLISHING MANY DAILY RECORD HIGHS AND DRAWING 
TO WITHIN 1-3 DEGREES OF ALL-TIME RECORD HIGHS. THIS HOT WEATHER 
DEVELOPED IN THE PLAINS STATES UNDER A STRONG RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE 
THAT MOVED EAST INTO THE CAROLINAS ON JUNE 29TH. TEMPERATURES 
REACHED 103 IN WILMINGTON AND LUMBERTON...105 IN FLORENCE...AND 106 
IN DARLINGTON AND HARTSVILLE. 

EVEN AFTER THE EXTREME HEAT SUBSIDED...TEMPERATURES REMAINED ABOVE 
NORMAL THROUGHOUT THE MONTH OF JULY. IN WILMINGTON JULY 2012 WAS THE 
HOTTEST SINGLE MONTH RECORDED SINCE TEMPERATURE RECORDS STARTED IN 
1874. WILMINGTON HAD 7 DAYS THIS SUMMER (5 OF THEM IN JULY) WITH 
100+ DEGREE TEMPERATURES. WILMINGTON ALSO HAD FOUR NIGHTS IN JULY 
WITH LOW TEMPERATURES 80 DEGREES OR WARMER...ESTABLISHING A NEW 
RECORD. WILMINGTON ALSO RECORDED A RECORD 56 CONSECUTIVE DAYS THIS 
SUMMER WITH LOW TEMPERATURES 70 DEGREES OR WARMER...LASTING FROM 
JUNE 29TH THROUGH AUGUST 23RD. 

THE CONSISTENTLY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES RECORDED JANUARY THROUGH 
JULY MORE THAN BALANCED OUT A COOLER LATTER PORTION OF THE YEAR... 
AND 2012'S ANNUAL MEAN TEMPERATURE AT BOTH WILMINGTON AND FLORENCE 
IS IN THE WARMEST 10 PERCENT OF ALL YEARS IN THE HISTORIC CLIMATE 
RECORD.

THE TROPICAL SEASON GOT OFF TO AN EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY START IN 2012 
WITH TROPICAL STORM ALBERTO DEVELOPING OVER THE GULF STREAM JUST OFF 
THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST ON MAY 18TH. ALBERTO DID NOT AFFECT 
LAND...BUT TROPICAL STORM BERYL DID. BERYL FORMED OFF THE FLORIDA 
EAST COAST ON MAY 26TH AND MADE LANDFALL NEAR JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA 
ON THE 28TH. BERYL WEAKENED TO A DEPRESSION AND MOVED NORTHEASTWARD 
ESSENTIALLY CROSSING OVER MYRTLE BEACH AND WILMINGTON ON HER WAY OUT 
TO SEA ON THE 30TH. RAINFALL UP TO NEARLY 4 INCHES WAS RECORDED IN 
WILMINGTON WITH WIND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 45 MPH. IN OCTOBER...HURRICANE 
SANDY WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR HER EXTRAORDINARY IMPACTS IN NEW JERSEY 
AND NEW YORK...BUT HER IMPACTS LOCALLY WERE LIMITED TO RAINFALL OVER 
THREE INCHES NEAR WILMINGTON WITH WIND GUSTS RECORDED AS HIGH AS 50 
MPH AT WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH ON THE MORNING OF OCTOBER 28TH. 

ON OCTOBER 1ST...FOUR EF0 TORNADOES TOUCHED DOWN NEAR HALLSBORO AND 
BOARDMAN IN COLUMBUS COUNTY...AND NEAR COUNCIL AND CARVERS IN BLADEN 
COUNTY. THERE WERE NO INJURIES AND DAMAGE WAS LIMITED TO TREES... 
POWER LINES AND METAL ROOFS FROM SHEDS. THESE WERE THE ONLY 
CONFIRMED TORNADO TOUCHDOWNS IN OUR AREA OF WARNING RESPONSIBILITY 
DURING 2012.

THE FALL MONTHS OF SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER FEATURED BELOW NORMAL 
TEMPERATURES CULMINATING IN A VERY COLD NOVEMBER AVERAGING 3 TO 6 
DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. A WIDESPREAD FREEZE THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 
9TH ENDED THE GROWING SEASON FOR THE INLAND EASTERN CAROLINAS. AN 
EVEN COLDER AIRMASS ENDED THE GROWING SEASON AT THE COAST ON 
NOVEMBER 25TH. 

TEMPERATURES REBOUNDED TO WELL ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS IN DECEMBER. THE
FIRST HALF OF THE MONTH WAS PRACTICALLY SPRING-LIKE WITH 8 OF THE 
FIRST 10 DAYS OF DECEMBER EXCEEDING 70 DEGREES IN FLORENCE. A RARE 
WINTER SEVERE WEATHER EVENT ON DECEMBER 26TH PRODUCED THUNDERSTORM 
WIND DAMAGE IN KURE BEACH AND IN BLADEN COUNTY NEAR JEROME. A 
STORM SURVEY IN KURE BEACH FOUND DAMAGE INDICATIVE OF 70 MPH 
STRAIGHT LINE WINDS. WIND GUSTS WERE MEASURED AT 63 MPH AT NEARBY 
SOUTHPORT DURING THE SAME STORM. WIDESPREAD 1 TO 2 INCH RAINFALL 
TOTALS ALSO OCCURRED WITH THIS WEATHER SYSTEM.




Wilmington 2012 Climate Graphic
*** WILMINGTON NC 2012 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) *** AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP AVG T/DEP WARMEST COOLEST PRECIP/DEP JAN 61.8/+5.4 38.4/+2.8 50.1/+4.1 76/24TH 20/4TH 1.77/-1.99 FEB 61.9/+2.0 39.9/+2.0 50.9/+2.0 78/23RD 24/13TH 2.16/-1.46 MAR 73.5/+7.1 51.2/+7.4 62.4/+7.3 88/29TH 29/6TH 3.58/-0.63 APR 74.3/+0.1 52.6/+1.0 63.5/+0.6 87/17TH 37/7TH 1.46/-1.36 MAY 82.2/+1.5 63.8/+3.8 73.0/+2.6 92/5TH 51/11TH 7.28/+2.79 JUN 85.0/-1.9 65.3/-3.4 75.2/-2.6 103/30TH 56/7TH 1.88/-3.30 JUL 93.8/+4.1 75.6/+3.0 84.7/+3.6 101/27TH 70/1ST 2.31/-5.17 AUG 86.3/-1.8 72.1/+0.8 79.2/-0.5 93/14TH 64/26TH 11.60/+4.19 SEP 83.4/-0.3 65.3/-0.3 74.3/-0.3 96/1ST 53/25TH 5.00/-2.84 OCT 74.3/-1.4 55.5/+0.9 64.9/-0.3 85/6TH 42/31ST 4.39/+0.50 NOV 61.5/-6.5 39.6/-5.8 50.5/-6.2 78/4TH 29/25TH 4.43/+1.14 DEC 63.4/+4.1 43.0/+5.2 53.2/+4.6 76/3RD 25/31ST 4.60/+0.98 --------------------------------------------------------------------- ANN 75.1/+1.0 55.2/+1.4 65.2/+1.2 103 20 50.46/-7.15 2012 IS TIED FOR THE 11TH WARMEST YEAR IN WILMINGTON'S CLIMATE HISTORY WHICH DATES BACK TO 1874. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES... 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 47 (7 ABOVE NORMAL) 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 22 (13 BELOW NORMAL) HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 2004 (408 BELOW NORMAL) COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2174 (130 ABOVE NORMAL) NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION... 0.01 OR GREATER: 130 (5 BELOW NORMAL) 0.10 OR GREATER: 74 (4 BELOW NORMAL) 0.50 OR GREATER: 30 (5 BELOW NORMAL) 1.00 OR GREATER: 14 (3 BELOW NORMAL) A TRACE OF SNOW FELL ON JANUARY 3RD. (1.7 INCHES BELOW NORMAL) AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 6.8 MPH MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 37 MPH FROM THE NORTHWEST ON JULY 24 MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST: 52 MPH ON THE NORTHWEST ON JULY 24


Florence 2012 Climate Graphic
*** FLORENCE SC 2012 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) *** AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP AVG T/DEP WARMEST COOLEST PRECIP/DEP JAN 61.2/+5.9 37.3/+2.7 49.2/+4.3 78/26TH 16/4TH 1.30/-1.93 FEB 63.2/+3.6 39.3/+1.8 51.3/+2.8 80/29TH 19/13TH 2.85/-0.07 MAR 76.6/+9.0 52.0/+8.4 64.3/+8.7 87/30TH 30/6TH 4.59/+1.26 APR 76.6/+0.8 53.1/+2.4 64.8/+1.5 87/17TH 37/13TH 2.21/-0.41 MAY 84.8/+2.1 63.9/+4.5 74.4/+3.3 92/5TH 52/12TH 7.90/+4.64 JUN 87.1/-1.3 64.9/-3.1 76.0/-2.2 105/30TH 58/27TH 2.12/-2.50 JUL 94.6/+3.6 73.8/+2.4 84.2/+3.0 103/1ST 69/1ST 4.76/-0.50 AUG 88.0/-1.4 71.1/+0.6 79.6/-0.3 97/2ND 63/26TH 5.21/-0.03 SEP 84.7/+0.5 64.8/+0.5 74.8/+0.6 95/2ND 51/25TH 3.17/-0.50 OCT 75.5/+0.0 54.1/+1.0 64.8/+0.5 90/2ND 38/31ST 1.75/-1.33 NOV 64.8/-2.3 39.2/-4.5 52.0/-3.4 80/12TH 27/25TH 1.66/-1.01 DEC 64.7/+6.9 43.9/+7.4 54.3/+7.2 79/3RD 23/31ST 4.09/+1.08 --------------------------------------------------------------------- ANN 76.8/+2.2 54.8/+2.0 65.8/+2.1 105 16 41.61/-1.30 2012 IS THE 5TH WARMEST YEAR IN FLORENCE'S CLIMATE HISTORY WHICH DATES BACK TO 1948. NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES... 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 60 (4 ABOVE NORMAL) 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 28 (12 BELOW NORMAL) HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 1883 (641 BELOW NORMAL) COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2316 (254 ABOVE NORMAL) NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION... 0.01 OR GREATER: 120 (14 ABOVE NORMAL) 0.10 OR GREATER: 81 (11 ABOVE NORMAL) 0.50 OR GREATER: 30 (1 ABOVE NORMAL) 1.00 OR GREATER: 7 (5 BELOW NORMAL) AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 6.0 MPH MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 53 MPH FROM THE NORTHEAST ON JULY 1ST MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST: 69 MPH FROM THE NORTH ON JULY 1ST


North Myrtle Beach 2012 Climate Graphic
*** NORTH MYRTLE BEACH SC 2012 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) *** AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP AVG T/DEP WARMEST COOLEST PRECIP/DEP JAN 60.3/+5.2 39.4/+3.2 49.8/+4.1 71/27TH 20/4TH 1.24/-2.45 FEB 61.8/+4.4 41.2/+2.6 51.5/+3.5 74/2ND 24/13TH 2.00/-1.42 MAR 72.2/+8.1 53.7/+9.4 63.0/+8.8 88/29TH 32/6TH 3.35/-0.57 APR 74.2/+2.9 55.4/+3.5 64.8/+3.2 86/26TH 36/7TH 1.87/-1.09 MAY 81.1/+2.5 65.5/+4.7 73.3/+3.6 88/31ST 53/11TH 3.75/+0.34 JUN 83.2/-1.3 65.8/-3.5 74.5/-2.4 94/30TH 57/17TH 2.52/-2.12 JUL 89.9/+2.3 75.7/+2.6 82.2/+2.5 98/24TH 70/28TH 7.12/+1.22 AUG 85.0/-1.1 72.9/+1.2 78.9/+0.0 88/16TH 65/26TH 8.62/+1.21 SEP 83.0/-0.4 66.3/-0.6 74.7/-0.4 92/1ST 53/25TH 0.87/-5.41 OCT 74.5/-0.6 55.3/-0.4 64.9/-0.5 84/5TH 43/31ST 1.89/-1.99 NOV 62.0/-4.6 40.0/-6.4 51.0/-5.5 78/4TH 26/25TH 2.33/-0.71 DEC 62.8/+4.3 43.3/+4.3 53.0/+4.2 76/5TH 25/31ST 3.73/+0.27 --------------------------------------------------------------------- ANN 74.2/+1.8 56.2/+1.6 65.2/+1.7 98 20 39.29/-12.72 NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES... 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 22 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 18 HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 1909 COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2096 NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION... 0.01 OR GREATER: 118 0.10 OR GREATER: 70 0.50 OR GREATER: 29 1.00 OR GREATER: 11 AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 7.1 MPH MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 33 MPH FROM THE SOUTHWEST ON DECEMBER 26TH MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST: 47 MPH FROM THE SOUTHWEST ON MARCH 5TH


Lumberton 2012 Climate Graphic
*** LUMBERTON NC 2012 CLIMATE DATA (PRELIMINARY) *** AVG HI/DEP AVG LO/DEP AVG T/DEP WARMEST COOLEST PRECIP/DEP JAN 59.4/+5.7 37.7/+4.5 48.8/+5.4 72/26TH MISSING 2.16/-0.81 FEB 60.4/+2.4 37.0/+1.4 48.7/+1.9 77/29TH 20/13TH 2.64/-0.26 MAR 74.5/+8.2 49.7/+7.7 62.1/+8.0 85/29TH 26/6TH 3.94/+0.61 APR 75.1/+0.6 50.1/+1.1 62.6/+0.9 87/17TH 31/12TH 2.71/-0.11 MAY 85.0/+2.9 61.6/+4.0 73.3/+3.5 92/31ST 49/20TH 5.58/+2.53 JUN 87.5/-1.0 63.2/-4.2 75.4/-2.6 103/30TH 55/17TH 5.07/+0.73 JUL 93.2/+2.2 73.5/+2.2 83.3/+2.2 101/1ST 71/31ST 5.48/+0.00 AUG 86.9/-1.4 70.0/+0.3 78.4/-0.6 93/17TH 61/26TH 8.56/+3.06 SEP 84.2/+0.5 62.6/+0.3 73.4/+0.4 95/2ND 48/25TH 1.84/-2.96 OCT 74.3/-1.2 51.7/+0.4 63.0/-0.4 89/2ND 37/31ST 1.35/-1.22 NOV 61.6/-5.6 36.4/-5.0 49.0/-5.3 77/12TH 23/25TH 1.36/-1.51 DEC 61.6/+4.8 41.4/+5.5 51.4/+5.2 75/9TH 26/31ST 4.35/+1.46 --------------------------------------------------------------------- ANN 75.3/+1.4 52.9/+1.5 64.1/+1.5 103 MISSING 45.04/+1.52 NUMBER OF DAYS WITH TEMPERATURES... 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER: 64 32 DEGREES OR LOWER: 39 HEATING DEGREE DAYS: 2248 COOLING DEGREE DAYS: 2055 NUMBER OF DAYS WITH PRECIPITATION... 0.01 OR GREATER: 121 0.10 OR GREATER: 75 0.50 OR GREATER: 31 1.00 OR GREATER: 8 AVERAGE WIND SPEED: 5.2 MPH MAXIMUM 2-MINUTE WIND SPEED: 36 MPH FROM THE WEST ON JULY 21ST MAXIMUM 5-SECOND WIND GUST: 64 MPH FROM THE NORTHWEST ON MAY 9TH && NOTE: ALL DATA CONTAINED IN THIS SUMMARY IS PRELIMINARY UNTIL QUALITY-CONTROLLED AND CERTIFIED BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER. $$ TRA



Radar Estimated Rainfall Graphics



2012 Radar Estimated Rainfall, Carolinas
2012 Radar Estimated Rainfall. Most areas received over 40 inches of rain. Low values along the SC coast are bad data caused by radar beam blockage.


2012 Rainfall Departure, Carolinas
2012 Rainfall Departure, Carolinas. Most areas were slightly below normal for rainfall, although small portions of the Pee Dee Region actually had 4 to 8 inch rainfall surpluses. Low values along the SC coast are bad data caused by radar beam blockage.


2012 Rainfall Percent of Normal, Carolinas
2012 Rainfall Percent of Normal. Most areas were slightly below normal for rainfall, although small portions of the Pee Dee Region actually had 10-20 percent rainfall surpluses. Low values along the SC coast are bad data caused by radar beam blockage.

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

Page Author: 
Web Master's E-mail:  ilm.webmaster@noaa.gov
Page Last Modified: January 2, 2012
 
Disclaimer
Credits
Glossary
Privacy Policy
About Us
Career Opportunities