Originally Posted by Vatnos
When I said 'around a foot' I did mean around, not exactly, but it's right there in the historical record which was posted here on the first page.
And you came here in '82, so you just missed the March blizzard.
Vatnos, I've lived in NC all my life, which is 48 years so far — I was in elementary school in the 70s. I remember the 80s just fine, thanks. (FTR, My dad lived in NC all his life. I can trace my NC relatives back to the 1600s. I have plenty of stories of historical NC.)
What you said was:
Originally Posted by Vatnos
We did get 2 feet of snow back in 2000, and then another 1 foot snowstorm the year after that. That tends to happen once every decade.
which is just incorrect. We DO NOT get 1 to 2 feet of snow every decade. You didn't say "about" a foot. I think a casual reader not familiar with NC winters like the original poster, would take your post to mean we get between 1 ft and 2 ft every decade which is just not true.
I'm not sure that the data that andyselec posted was accurate. He notes it was a broken link. Here are some active links with historical weather data.
Southeast Regional Climate Center
Note the average snowfall per month over the past 63.3 years which I have bolded. Not sure the table format will come through well, but the first number is the average snowfall for Jan and the second to last is the average snowfall for Dec and the last is the average snowfall annually over those past 63 years.
So the average yearly snowfall for the past 63 years is 6.8 inches and that includes those huge snowstorms in the 2000s. If you look at it month by month you see that we average 0.7" in Dec, 2.6" in Jan, 2.3 in Feb, and 1.1 in March.
Period of Record : 8/ 1/1948 to 4/30/2012
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Average Max. Temperature (F) 50.7 54.1 62.1 72.1 79.1 86.0 89.1 87.6 81.6 72.0 62.6 53.0 70.8
Average Min. Temperature (F) 30.1 32.0 38.6 47.0 55.7 64.0 68.3 67.3 60.7 48.5 39.1 32.1 48.6
Average Total Precipitation (in.) 3.44 3.26 3.85 2.88 3.54 3.57 4.59 4.45 3.89 2.99 3.05 3.09 42.59
Average Total SnowFall (in.) 2.6 2.3 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.7 6.8
Average Snow Depth (in.) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Percent of possible observations for period of record.
For a breakdown of snowfall year by year you can go to the Weather Warehouse page for RDU
. If you look in the snowfall column you will see the two freaky huge snows in 2000 and 2002, but after that you have to go back to the 60s and 50s before you get a snowfall in double digits.
The March blizzard you refer to (March 2 1980) actually was measured at 9 inches at RDU according to wunderground
(which is the site that WRAL references for their historical weather data). Nine inches is not a foot. That storm followed a not uncommon North Carolina snowfall pattern which occasionally causes eastern NC to get a big snow. If you look at this map of that March 2 1980 storm
you can see that the snowfall east of I-95 was much heavier than the snow in the Triangle and the rest of the piedmont. Most of the time snow comes from the west and north and Greensboro and Winston-Salem and often Roxboro will get more than we do in the Triangle and eastern NC might not get any at all. Occasionally, though the storm comes up from the South or even the south east and that's when you get those big totals on the coast. That is more unusual, but it is not uncommon.
So, SouthernNE, we have very occasional freaky big snowstorms. Usually we consider 6 inches to be "big". You're far more likely to run into other extreme weather here like heat (almost always hits 100+ at least once a summer), tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, etc.