While the official results aren’t in yet, I think we can surmise that November was cooler and drier than average, as the drought monitor can prove one half of that equation as true. Below, we’ll get a forecast as to what the climatologists believe December and winter at large could bring us.
So far, in the seven day forecast, temperatures are going to start decreasing by late week and into the weekend, much below average. Average for this time of year is around 60 degrees and daytime highs will drop into the mid 40s by late this week. Evidence suggests that the cool temperatures will continue through the month of December. The average temperature for the month of December in eastern North Carolina is about 55 degrees, thus like the month of November, much of this month could be below this average.
November was abnormally dry and so far during the first week of December we only have one shot or rain in the forecast, Tuesday night through Wednesday night but dry for the rest of the time frame. The average monthly rainfall for the month is a little of 3 inches. We are already behind from the month of November, whose average is around 3 inches and we’re only expecting about an inch the middle part of this week. For the month of December, we are expecting average rainfall. Even if that solution verifies, we are still down a few inches from the below average November.
Speaking of Winter at large, there is one worldly atmospheric phenomenon that may impact us and that is La Nina, a cooling of the Pacific Ocean around the equator. When that happens, it changes the direction of the jet streams, which controls the path of storms and it separates air masses. So we’ve learned that when a La Nina pattern sets up, eastern North Carolina is warmer and drier than average.
The average daytime high temperature for December, January and February for eastern North Carolina are 55 degrees, 52 degrees and 56 degrees respectively. The average rainfall each month is a little over 3 inches, approaching 4 inches for the month of January. If a La Nina pattern verifies, the dry conditions that started in October and through November could give us a drought that may take us a while to overcome. Again, these outlooks are just that, outlooks. Beyond 7 to 10 days, the forecast becomes a lot less accurate and unpredictable as weather patterns can be erratic. We’ll keep you up-to-date no matter the weather pattern.