December 28, 2015
New record high temps set at
Hatteras for Christmas holiday
By IRENE NOLAN
temperature records at Cape Hatteras have been falling left and right
during December and were falling day after day during the long
And, after a brief cloudy, rainy, and cool spell today, temperatures
will soar again on Tuesday, threatening the high of 75, set
in1990. That will set the stage for a warm and wet week with
temperatures falling back to cooler and much more seasonal highs and
lows by the New Year's weekend.
Over the long Christmas holiday weekend, islanders and visitors were
astounded to be running air conditioning, switching Christmas sweaters
for T-shirts, getting the shorts back out -- and even pulling the
bathing suits out of winter storage.
Yes, there were folks who went swimming on Christmas Day. They
reported the water was "warm enough." -- whatever that means. There
were plenty of others who were fishing and who put away their waders to
fish in shorts, wading thigh-deep into the surf. By all reports,
the fishing was pretty good.
Through yesterday, the average temperature for December 2015 at the
automated weather station at Billy Mitchell Airfield in Frisco was 61.9
degrees -- 12.1 degrees above the normal average temperature for the
The temperature has not reached the all-time record high for the month of December, which was 78 degrees in 1991.
However, by my count, there have been seven high temperature records
broken so far this month. And that's even more impressive when
you consider that the daily high and low temperatures have been
recorded on Hatteras Island for 141 years. The weather station
has moved around during that time, but records date back to 1874.
Here are the record high temperatures reported by the National Weather Service:
- Saturday, Dec. 12, 73 degrees, breaking the record of 72, set in 1961.
- Monday, Dec. 14, 75 degrees, breaking the record of 74, set in 1991.
- Thursday, Dec. 17, 75 degrees, breaking the record of 72, set in 1933.
- Thursday, Dec. 24, 75 degrees, breaking the record of 72, set in 1990.
- Friday, Dec. 25, 75 degrees, breaking the record of 73, set on Christmas Day in 1964.
- Saturday, Dec. 26, 74, tying the record high of 74, set in 1964.
- Sunday, Dec. 27, 74, breaking the record of 71, set in 1882.
And, though today is in the mid-60s, the Weather Service says it may
warm up enough tomorrow to put the Dec. 29 record high of 75 in 1990 in
And although the all-time record high for December has not fallen, the
record high minimum temperature was broken on Dec. 24 when the low was
71, enough we are sure to make Santa and his reindeer sweat just a bit.
According to the meteorologists at the Weather Service office in
Newport/Morehead City, N.C., today's cool and drizzly weather is the
result of a "backdoor" cold front that dropped into the area from the
north this morning.
The front is forecast to move back north as a warm front tonight,
bringing us a 70 percent chance of rain. On Tuesday, there's only a 30
percent chance of lingering showers and the weather will warm up to the
Another cold front will approach from the west tomorrow but dissipate
before it clears the coast, keeping us in an unstable weather pattern
for Wednesday -- with a 50 percent chance of rain -- and Thursday --
with a 60 percent chance. Clouds and showers should keep the
temperatures slightly cooler.
A stronger cold front will finally clear the area on Thursday night
with a slight cool down to the upper 50s for New Year's
Day. Next weekend will be sunny, but the high will be 50, more
seasonable for early January. Low temperatures over the weekend will
drop to about 40.
For updated forecasts, go to the National Weather Service's Newport/Morehead City home page at www.weather.gov/mhx/.