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Is it too early for 90-degree heat?

Looking over the past 30 years’ worth of data, the average first 90-degree day in Charlotte occurs right around May 20.
Looking over the past 30 years’ worth of data, the average first 90-degree day in Charlotte...
Looking over the past 30 years’ worth of data, the average first 90-degree day in Charlotte occurs right around May 20.(Source: WBTV)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 9:10 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Following a very cold start to 2022 that offered several rounds of January ice and snow, every month since has featured rather warm and dry weather and May has brought more of the same.

Sure, we’ve enjoyed a nice stretch of weather this week, complete with low humidity, bright sunshine and cooling breezes. However, that could be the last break for some time to come.

A lot of my Facebook followers have complained about missing out on a traditional spring, one where we more or less ease into hot weather by Memorial Day. No, it seems as if we are marching straight into summer, with a real risk of Charlotte experiencing near 90-degree heat next week.

While afternoon readings starting this Sunday will inch closer to 90 degrees, record-challenging heat in the middle 90s is unlikely.

That said, I was asked recently on Twitter just how far ahead of schedule is the forecast of 90 degrees?

Oddly enough, it’s not really all that far.

Looking over the past 30 years’ worth of data, the average first 90-degree day in Charlotte occurs right around May 20.  So, the reality is, given my forecast, we’re running pretty close to schedule.

And if you’re wondering, the earliest Charlotte has ever recorded a 90-degree day was St. Patrick’s Day - March 17, 1945 - and the latest that threshold has been reached was actually after Independence Day on July 8, 2003, a summer that turned out to be rather wet - with 24 inches of rain! - and cool, with only nine days of 90 degrees or better, the second-lowest total on record for the Queen City.

For the record, Charlotte averages 44 days – about six weeks worth – of 90-degree-plus days each year, so get set, because the heat will soon crank up and likely be around for a while!

For the most up-to-the-minute updates, download the WBTV Weather App.

Al Conklin

WBTV Chief Meteorologist

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