How much rain or snow falls in your area during the year? What are the seasonal average temperatures? When is the thunderstorm or hurricane season? Climate, or the average weather conditions of a specific region, affects everyone. From daily changes in weather to the change of seasons, climate regularly influences human decision-making. Plentiful water and a long growing season make agriculture productive. Yet one storm can devastate many lives. Rainfall is one part of climate. Is the rainfall you receive spread evenly over the year or does it fall during one monsoon-like month? Annual rainfall amount and distribution through the year determines the plants that can grow at your address. If your rainfall is less than 10 inches a year, or if 20 out of 25 inches usually pours down in one month, don't expect to find many trees. On the other hand, if your neighborhood receives more than 50 inches of rain in a typical year, you may have a hard time keeping your lawn, trees and bushes neatly trimmed. Annual rainfall amount also influences soil erosion, fire danger, drinking water and farming. Due to topographical variation, as well as the Gulf Stream off the coast, North Carolina has the largest climate variability of any state east of the Mississippi. Investigate the climate in your region!
Resources for Learning about your Climate
State Climate Office of North Carolina Go here to get the highs and lows for every month across the state. Compare this to the overall average. The State Climate Office of North Carolina is the primary source for NC weather and climate information. Located at NC State University campus, they are actively involved in all aspects of climate research, education and extension.
National Centers for Environmental Information- NOAA The National Centers for Environmental Information, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation's climate and historical weather data and information. They offer maps and other data on climate such as satellite data, radar data, weather balloon data, marine and ocean data and paleoclimate data.