By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
The Stanly News & Press
Monday, December 31, 2012 —
2012 was a busy year. It was a year in which the world watched the summer Olympics, voters hit the polls in November to decide the Presidential election and finally, days before Christmas, survived the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse.
Through all those events, people in the Charlotte region witnessed and participated in those things while enjoying a relatively ordinary year in weather conditions.
“I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary,” WBTV-Charlotte Weather Meteorologist Ashley Batey said.
“It hasn't been a snowy year or anything like that or an outbreak of tornadoes.”
With seemingly normal conditions, Batey said the Charlotte region did receive less rain than the area usually does and less than it needs.
“Significantly less. Even with rain over Christmas and (Dec. 26), it's over an 8 inch rainfall deficit,” she said.
WBTV’s numbers show that the average rainfall totals by Dec. 27 would be 41.12 inches. By that date, the area had only seen 33.41 inches.
Some of that rain, and lack of rain came with the absence of many strong hurricanes. According to Batey, Hurricane Sandy had the most impact on the area, bringing rain and even stronger winds. Even before the declared hurricane season, Hurricane Beryl brought a steady amount of rain.
“It depends on the pattern for where they're going to go and this year we lucked out,” Batey said.
And throughout the year, the absence of much rain was compounded with warmer temperatures, as seen throughout December. For Christmas Day, the temperature peaked at 56 degrees, 4 degrees above the average 52 degrees. Batey said that the warm weather was not unique to the Carolinas.
“For the US as a whole, 2012 was one of the warmest and driest so far,” she said.
“2012 will almost certainly go down as warmest year on record in lower 48 states.”
For a busy year around the world, people in this region experienced weather that fell short in one category and was above average in another, but nothing alarming.
“Other than being warm and dry, nothing out of the normal,” Batey said.