When Will North Carolina’s Snow Drought End?

You could say North Carolina is in a bit of a snow drought. Outside of the mountains, most of the rest of the state did not see any measurable snow in 2019.

Yes, snow did fall in the Piedmont last winter, but that was actually in December 2018. Since then, there have only been trace amounts of sleet and snow reported in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.

While it is not uncommon for the Sandhills and locations near the coast to go more than a year between snowfalls, that does not happen very often in the Piedmont.

  • Charlotte – Snowfall records are available dating back to 1878.  During that time, there have been only 11 winters where there was no measurable snow reported.  Each of those 11 years, a trace was reported.  The last winter with just a trace of snow was the winter of 2011-2012.
  • Greensboro- Reliable snowfall records are available dating back to 1926.  During that time, there have been only six winters where there was no measurable snow reported.  For five of those six years, a trace was reported.  The last winter with just a trace of snow was the winter of 1991-1992.
  • Raleigh – Snowfall records are available dating back to 1887.  During that time, there have been only 11 winters where there was no measurable snow reported.  Each of those 11 years, a trace was reported.  The last winter with just a trace of snow was the winter of 2005-2006.

January typically brings the coldest weather of the year, and with that the highest chance of snow.  That has not been the case though for the first half of January 2020.  The last few days have felt a lot more like April than the middle of winter.

There are signs that will eventually change. Temperatures will be well above average for most of this week, but the following week looks colder than average.  

High temperatures should be in the 40s most days during the week of January 20-24.  At least a day or two could even feature highs just in the 30s for parts of the state.  

That is a weather pattern that is more favorable for the chance for snow at least when it comes to our temperature.  However, it is too early to say if the coldest air will arrive at the same time as a system that brings precipitation.  

Snow lovers should not give up hope just yet.  Many years February and even March can feature conditions that are favorable for winter weather.  For now, we’ll just have to wait and see if those months will bring weather that breaks us out of our current snow drought.

For reliable winter weather coverage, stay tuned to Weather on the 1s on Spectrum News.