Archived Outdoors

May finished cool and dry in N.C.

North Carolina saw its 26th coolest May in the last 129 years, with the National Centers for Environmental Information reporting a preliminary statewide average temperature of 64.4 degrees, 2.5 degrees below the 1991-2020 average.

While the mountain region was overall at or below the average temperature, temperatures in the middle and eastern parts of the state came in further below normal. The coldest site was Mount Mitchell, measuring 23 degrees on May 1, and Wilmington was the hottest, measuring 93 degrees on May 9.

May was also drier than average, with an average statewide precipitation of 3.11 inches making it the 37th driest May since 1895. Highlands, for example, was 2.6 inches below normal, logging its 34th driest May in the past 121 years. Areas west of Waynesville picked up less than half an inch of rain over an otherwise wet Memorial Day weekend. Currently, 22 counties, including Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Clay, Graham, Henderson and Transylvania are abnormally dry.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting near-normal activity during hurricane season this year, with a 40% chance of near-normal activity, 30% chance of above-normal and 30% chance of below-normal activity.

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