Warm and dry: December 2021 was third-warmest on record in North Carolina


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – December was warm. The average temperature came in at 52.6 degrees, which is 8 degrees warmer than average. That 52.6 degrees also put us in the top-three warmest Decembers on record, behind only 1889 and 2015.

But December’s weather story wasn’t just about the heat, significant as it was. It was also dry.

Throughout the entire month, the Triangle only picked up 1.63 inches of rain — almost 2 inches drier than average, which sticks us in the top 15 driest Decembers on record. This dry spell did not help our drought situation. By the end of November, North Carolina was starting to get into a significant drought, which was only made worse by our dry December.

Enter January 2022, which brought enough rain in the first three days to last the entire month — literally.

This could be good news for the drought, as long as we keep getting a few steady rains off and on through the month. We will get the updated drought monitor this Thursday, so watch for that on CBS 17.

As for what the rest of January holds? Monthly outlooks indicate slightly warmer temperatures farther south, and slightly wetter weather to the west.

Overall, modes are not leaning to one particular solution just yet, which means right now we have just as good of a chance of being cooler and wetter as we do being warmer and drier.

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