Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

atownrocks

Charlotte's Weather

21 posts in this topic

I have always wondered other peoples opinion about Charlotte's weather to Atlanta. I think that Charlotte is a little more humid and hotter in the summer, Atlanta is cooler due to it's elevation. As far as severe weather I can't really see a difference but it seems like every summer Charlotte gets nailed with strong storms. And as far as Tornadoes Charlotte is actually in a "tornado alley" per say. You can see this right here.

http://www.11alive.com/flash/weather/flash_tornado/main.asp

And as for snow and ice Charlotte does see a lot more of that. Plus a higher possibility of hurricanes not catogory 5, but something like Hugo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yea, our weather is horrible. One day we're nailed by a 'cane and the next day we get a Tornado, followed by snow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I dislike the most is the roller coaster ride of temperatures. One day its 85, then the next day its 59 and raining, then the next day its sunny and 75 again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Carolina weather tends to be rather fickle, especially in the Piedmont.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Carolina weather tends to be rather fickle, especially in the Piedmont.

Well it is like that for Atlanta, Greenville, and Greensboro and Winston-Salem. That is due to the something called the wedge effect or sometimes we get a back door cold front which gets stuck in a "wedge" of cool air that extends from Atlanta to the Northeast, which can bring us heavy snow or ice storms, or sometimes saves us from the really bad severe weather outbreaks that other cities like Nashville and Birmingham might get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wedge is an interesting phenomenon that only occurs in this general area (Southern VA, West Central NC, and Upper SC.) As far as Charlotte having oddball weather I can vouch for that. We actually had a below normal summer last year though for temperature and a very above average winter for temperature. There is really no way to predict this years trends. Climatological data extends only so far as people want to believe it. Take last seasons hurricanes...the chances are very small that we will eclipse last years #, because after ~140 years of record keeping, the most hurricanes occurred last year. The media would have you believe it is going to happen again, when in reality it is VERY unlikely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always wondered other peoples opinion about Charlotte's weather to Atlanta. I think that Charlotte is a little more humid and hotter in the summer, Atlanta is cooler due to it's elevation. As far as severe weather I can't really see a difference but it seems like every summer Charlotte gets nailed with strong storms. And as far as Tornadoes Charlotte is actually in a "tornado alley" per say. You can see this right here.

http://www.11alive.com/flash/weather/flash_tornado/main.asp

And as for snow and ice Charlotte does see a lot more of that. Plus a higher possibility of hurricanes not catogory 5, but something like Hugo.

The difference in elevation is slight. To be precise the difference is less than 225 feet between the two cities. Charlotte has an elevevation of 795 feet above sea level. Altanta is at 1010 above sea level. For every 1000 feet you lose 2 degrees of temp. This can vary but is the norm for using in calculating surface temps when the only variable is elevation.

The wedge is an interesting phenomenon, which creates some of the most unpredictable weather in the winter. The App. Mountains act as a dam and trap cool air which High Pressure pushes in from Canada. The result in cold air at the surface and warm air aloft. It can produce nasty Ice storms which Charlotte, and the rest of the Piedmont are noted for.

The depth of the wedge is greatly reduced near the edges of where the Appalachain Mountians end, This runs from just North of the Shanondoah Valley in VA south to Atlanta.

On average Charlotte receives two times as much snow and Ice than Atlanta. Just 50 minutes up the road the averages change even more. Winston Salem/Greensboro receive four time as much snow than Atlanta. The tempertures are slightly cooler for Fall and Winter in Charlotte and are neck and neck for Summer temps. (a difference of less than one third of one degree)

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762183.html

It is humid everywhere in the South that I have lived. The only exception would be possibly on the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which tend to ecscape the hot and humid weather that the South is typically known for.

A2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


As others have stated, the difference in elevation above sea level between Charlotte and Atlanta is insignificant. In fact, parts of Atlanta's metro are likely at the same elevation as Charlotte.

Atlanta generally does experience lower dewpoints (i.e. lower relative humidity), and this is probably attributable to the fact that Atlantic and Gulf moisture gets trapped over the NC Piedmont moreso due to the tall mountains in Western NC. Atlanta doesn't have as much of a barrier because the mountains that separate Atlanta from the "midwest" are comparatively pretty short.

For example, Raleigh has pretty high dewpoints in the summer, so despite the fact that the temp here is clearly lower on average than in Atlanta, it often feels much stickier in Raleigh because of the relative humidity.

Charlotte has marginally less sunlight during the winter and slightly lower average temperatures (both day and night temps) compared to Atlanta. Charlotte on average gets something like 6"-ish of snowfall annually, compared to <2" annually in Atlanta.

Overall summer temperatures in Charlotte are also marginally lower on average. This has to do with the simple fact that Charlotte is at a higher latitude while still maintaining a similarly far distance from the coast. While I believe the daytime high temp at the peak month of summer in Charlotte is 1 degree warmer than Atlanta, the nighttime temps year round are generally cooler. Most of the spring and summer months have identical daytime averages.

Baltimore is at a much higher latitude than Charlotte, but it is a few degrees hotter on average during the summer because of its proximity to the ocean.

Charlotte is pretty well shielded from Hurricanes. Raleigh is the only sizeable metro in NC that regularly gets affected by tropical systems every year--even if its just a rain event. Usually though it is much less severe than what Atlanta experienced during the tropical events of 2005 (30mph winds and rain), but sometimes it is more (like Hurricane Fran--weak category 1 over Wake County).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Charlotte's in a pretty good place geographically, despite a lack of definite geographical identifiers. It's not in the mountains, so it doesn't get mini-blizzards during the winter, nor is it on the coast, so it isn't in any immediate danger of hurricanes--yet it's roughly equidistant from both. It's not in the foothills, so it doesn't get a lot of trapped pollutants (ie, Greenville, a lot of which is blown over from Atlanta); not as far north as Greensboro, so it gets less snow and ice; and not as far south as Columbia, so it doesn't get as hot and humid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Charlotte's in a pretty good place geographically, despite a lack of definite geographical identifiers. It's not in the mountains, so it doesn't get mini-blizzards during the winter, nor is it on the coast, so it isn't in any immediate danger of hurricanes--yet it's roughly equidistant from both. It's not in the foothills, so it doesn't get a lot of trapped pollutants (ie, Greenville, a lot of which is blown over from Atlanta); not as far north as Greensboro, so it gets less snow and ice; and not as far south as Columbia, so it doesn't get as hot and humid.

Actually Charlotte is one of the most polluted cities in the country. Also there are two Mountains ranges that block the smog there are the Blueridge and then the Unharrie Mountian's to the east of Charlotte.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Charlotte is one of the most polluted cities in the country. Also there are two Mountains ranges that block the smog there are the Blueridge and then the Unharrie Mountian's to the east of Charlotte.

Unfortunately you are correct on this. The Positioning of Charlotte has a lot to do with our smog issues. I am embarassed to say but we are right up there with ATL and LA for bad air. It is really amazing since we are a much smaller metro than both. I am scared to think what our air quality might be like when we do approach 5M population in our metro. :(:sick:

A2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My allergies were unbearable when in lived in Charlotte from 2002-2004. When I moved back to Raleigh, they got a whole lot better. I attribute this to poorer air quality in Charlotte as well as the change in vegetation.

Back in 1998 when I moved from Raleigh down to Atlanta for two months, my allergies were quite awful down there as well. I'm sure this can be blamed on the same culprits--poorer air quality and different vegetation.

My allergies can be pretty bad in Raleigh, but I suppose my body is more used to the atmosphere here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My allergies were horrible in the Sandhills but just giong to the northwest in Asheboro, improved greatly! Now that im in central jersey, i rarely have an allergy event but if im in the south jersey pinelands long enough, they kick back in again a little. Must be the pine trees for me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't think there is much difference at all between Charlotte and Atlanta's weather. They both get pretty much get same stuff, maybe not at the same time, but if you name a weather event that happens in one city, you will find it in the other. Humidity in the summer may be a tad higher in ATL, but I've never heard someone say they moved from ATL to CLT or vice versa because they enjoyed the weather better. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Actually Charlotte is one of the most polluted cities in the country. Also there are two Mountains ranges that block the smog there are the Blueridge and then the Unharrie Mountian's to the east of Charlotte.

Wow, I didn't know that. But as far as natural weather systems are concerned, Charlotte isn't in a bad position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Baltimore is at a much higher latitude than Charlotte, but it is a few degrees hotter on average during the summer because of its proximity to the ocean."

With all due respect, being closer to the ocean makes one cooler in the summer. Still, DC and Baltimore on average are hotter in late July than Charlotte in actual air temperature, perhaps because of the dense urban heat island in this area. Also, Charlotte and North Carolina is noteworthy in that even in the hottest part of the summer, average low temperatures still dip into the 60's. Lows above 72 are relatively rare even in mid summer in central Nc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I like about Charlotte, is that within a couple of hours drive, you can pass from a very warm climate like is found throughout most of the Southeast, to one such as that found in Canada, by heading to the Black mountain range. And every climate in between can be found at the different elevations. Charlotte, and this part of the Piedmont is fairly unique on the east coast because the highest mountains on the East coast are so close.

We rarely get snow in Charlotte, but all of the major ski resorts in NC are fairly close so its very easy to do a day trip to go snow skiing. There are not many places in the SE where this is so easy to do.

Another advantage of these mountains is they shield the Charlotte area from really bad weather coming from the plains. By the time these weather systems cross the mountains, much of the punch has been taken out of them. And they also keep the Canadian cold that usually flows into the Ohio valley out of the area too.

I took some photos of how much the temperature can change from Charlotte to say Banner Elk in this thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

being closer to the ocean makes one cooler in the summer. Still, DC and Baltimore on average are hotter in late July than Charlotte in actual air temperature, perhaps because of the dense urban heat island in this area.

That is true... I'm not sure what point I was trying to make. :D I think I was trying to illustrate how relatively small shifts in latitude affects climate more than relatively small shifts in altitude.

Perhaps Baltimore's summer is shaped by the combination of being 7 feet above sea level and not literally on the ocean, but rather in the coastal plain. Or maybe that combined with the rest of the geography or the way air currents are manipulated by mountains to the west and the seasonal proximity of the Gulf Stream... Who knows really. Well, I'm sure someone does somewhere :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I like about Charlotte, is that within a couple of hours drive, you can pass from a very warm climate like is found throughout most of the Southeast, to one such as that found in Canada, by heading to the Black mountain range. And every climate in between can be found at the different elevations. Charlotte, and this part of the Piedmont is fairly unique on the east coast because the highest mountains on the East coast are so close.

We rarely get snow in Charlotte, but all of the major ski resorts in NC are fairly close so its very easy to do a day trip to go snow skiing. There are not many places in the SE where this is so easy to do.

Another advantage of these mountains is they shield the Charlotte area from really bad weather coming from the plains. By the time these weather systems cross the mountains, much of the punch has been taken out of them. And they also keep the Canadian cold that usually flows into the Ohio valley out of the area too.

I took some photos of how much the temperature can change from Charlotte to say Banner Elk in this i

Yeah that is true, but the same goes for other cities like Atlanta, Greenvile, Raleigh, and Richmond. If you watch the weather or if you have ever lived in Atlanta. Birmingham and Nashville get slammed but when the storms reach Atlanta they fade away and the same goes for Charlotte. Atlanta and Charlotte actually have a lower severe weather threat then most of the southeast. But sometimes they don't and we get slammed. Like for example in 1987 there was a bad tornado outbreak in NC. And Union County got an F-4 tornado. Then there was Hurricane Hugo. It all depends of the dynamic's of the weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny to hear people say "our weather is horrible" in Charlotte lol I guess everything really is relative. My wife and I praise the weather here everyday. Then again, we were living in the frozen snowy tundra known as "upstate new york". From our perspective Charlotte's weather is as close to paradise as we have seen. Then again we have a slanted view on weather after dealling with endless winters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.