National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

2014 will be remembered for two significant winter storms, the second of which in February brought one of the largest ice storms on record for southeastern North Carolina. Hurricane Arthur brushed by the coast just before the Fourth of July holiday bringing wind and rain. For the year, temperatures averaged slightly below normal.  Precipitation was generally near normal except for below-normal rainfall totals along the South Carolina coast and across portions of interior southeastern North Carolina.

Monthly Highlights...

JANUARY: A short-lived arctic blast in early January gave Wilmington its first day in three years where temperatures didn't rise above freezing. High temps for January 7th only reached 32 in Wilmington, 31 in Myrtle Beach, 29 in Florence, and 27 in Lumberton. Temperatures were back into the 70s by January 10th. Generally mild weather then continued through the middle of January until the bottom fell out: an arctic front on January 23rd brought the coldest air in 18 years to the eastern Carolinas. Lows fell to an astounding 10 degrees in Lumberton, 12 in Florence, 13 in Myrtle Beach, and 14 in Wilmington. To find temperatures any colder you have to turn back in the record books to February 5, 1996.

Another arctic front on January 27th brought more cold air into the Carolinas. As this front stalled offshore low pressure developed along it, spreading moisture over the top of the cold air. This led to a widespread snow and ice storm on January 28th and 29th. Precipitation was mainly sleet in Wilmington, accumulating to a depth of 1 inch. Four inches of snow fell in Lumberton, with 2 to 4 inches across Whiteville and Elizabethtown. Across northeastern South Carolina 1-3 inches of snow and sleet was reported with up to half an inch of freezing rain across inland Georgetown County.

FEBRUARY: Low pressure developed along a stalled front offshore on February 10th. On February 11th snow fell inland with sleet and freezing rain near the coast. Snow depth reached 5 inches in Lumberton, 3 inches near Hartsville, and up to 3 inches in Northern Dillon County. However this event will be remembered for the almost-unbelievable amount of freezing rain that fell. In Wilmington ice accumulation was measured at 0.56 inches, the second highest total ever in the Port City. Across inland portions of northeastern South Carolina reports were received of half an inch or more of ice along with tree damage reminiscent to Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Temperatures warmed nicely later in the month, and highs reached well into the 70s from February 18-22. Unfortunately this warmth spawned severe thunderstorms on February 21st: a pair of weak (EF-0) tornadoes touched down near St. Pauls and Pembroke in Robeson County, NC, with straight-line wind damage observed west of St. Pauls.

MARCH: Low pressure moved along the coast March 6-7 bringing a period of strong winds and heavy rain. Wind gusts were measured at 45 to 60 MPH at the beaches and tides at Wrightsville Beach were over half a foot over flood stage with beach erosion observed on the north end of the island. March was a very cold month; average temperatures were 3-6 degrees below normal. The final freeze of the 2013-2014 winter occurred on March 27, officially kicking off the growing season.

APRIL & MAY: Severe thunderstorms developed along a stalled front on April 28th with golf ball sized hail reported near Elizabethtown. The month of May turned hot at times with 5 consecutive days of 90+ degree temps recorded in Florence May 5th through the 9th. Hot temperatures occurred again the 21st through 23rd with Myrtle Beach recording 93 degrees on May 23rd. Severe thunderstorms (pictured to the right) developed along a stationary front on May 23rd dropping very large hail across northeastern South Carolina. Multiple storms dropped quarter to golf ball sized hail across Myrtle Beach during the evening, with other reports of golf ball sized hail from Georgetown, Greeleyville, Loris, Aynor, and even Calabash in North Carolina.

Severe thunderstorms moved repeatedly across Myrtle Beach on May 23, 2014. Large hail was reported in many locations.


JUNE: Temperatures in June averaged a couple degrees warmer than normal across the area. Florence recorded 15 straight days with highs in the 90s including 98 degrees on June 20th. Wilmington's hottest temperature of the year, 97 degrees, occurred on June 20th.  On the afternoon of June 21st several waves of severe thunderstorms affected Darlington, Florence, and Horry counties, producing wind damage and hail measured up to the size of quarters.

JULY: On July 1st a tropical depression formed off the Florida east coast from low pressure that had developed over South Carolina a few days earlier. This depression quickly became Tropical Storm Arthur, and by July 3rd became a Hurricane about 200 miles south of Wilmington. Arthur just missed Cape Fear late in the day on July 3rd (pictured to the left) brushing the coast with tropical storm force winds and up to 4.5 inches of rain measured in St. James in Brunswick County. Storm surge and other effects from Arthur were minor in the Cape Fear/Grand Strand area.
Following Arthur, the hottest weather of the year developed with 100 degree temperatures recorded in Florence on July 9th. Severe thunderstorms near Marion on July 10th produced 75 MPH downburst winds and damage to several homes. This was initially reported as a tornado but a subsequent NWS storm survey failed to find evidence for tornadic damage.  Thunderstorms near Wilmington on July 15th ignited several house fires across New Hanover County.  The same event produced severe weather across Columbus and Horry counties with many trees reported knocked down. Late in the afternoon of July 28th a severe thunderstorm produced a microburst with 75 MPH winds near Conway, injuring 6 people. This event also produced large hail up to golf ball size across parts of Marion and Horry counties.

AUGUST: On August 3rd a stalled front led to heavy rain and flooding across Horry, Columbus and Bladen counties. Less than one week later on August 9th more heavy rain and flooding occurred near Hampstead in Pender county. On August 23rd severe thunderstorms affected portions of Robeson and Bladen counties and produced over 4,000 lightning strikes in just a few hours time.  Late in August Hurricane Cristobal developed off the Florida east coast but remained well offshore with few impacts locally.

July and August were both very wet months for parts of the eastern Carolinas. Radar and spotters reported up to 25 inches of rain across New Hanover and eastern Pender counties, well above normal.  The 12 inches of rain in Wilmington in July made it the 15th wettest July in history for the Port City.

SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER: Weather was generally quiet through September and October. Isolated severe thunderstorms blew trees down in northern Robeson county on September 3rd.

NOVEMBER: The month got off to a bang as a powerful upper level low rolled across the area on November 1st. Temperatures 1-3 miles above the ground were some of the coldest ever seen this early in the season, and this helped produce early morning thunderstorms with hail (pictured to the right) across the Cape Fear area. Accumulating snow occurred across parts of central South Carolina, the earliest on record in Columbia. Showers during the afternoon dropped graupel (soft hail) and some wet snowflakes in Myrtle Beach. Cold air lingered behind this system with most of the eastern Carolinas recording their first Fall freeze on November 3rd. Areas along the coast (including Wilmington) that didn't get a freeze from this early-November event dipped below freezing during the next wave of cold air on November 15th, officially ending the 2014 growing season.  Growing season length ranged from 219 days in Lumberton to 232 days in Wilmington.  Most of northeastern South Carolina had a 220 day-long growing season in 2014.  November was a very cold month with observed tempeatures 4 to 5 degrees below average.

DECEMBER: Dry and uneventful weather the first two-thirds of December became more active toward the end of the month as a series of low pressure systems moved across the area.  Low pressure on Christmas Eve brought unseasonably warm temperatures and heavy rainfall to the area, totaling up to 4.98 inches in Leland.  Generally minor flooding was reported in Wilmington and Shallotte. A brief tornado even touched down in Castle Hayne in New Hanover county, injuring one individual with flying glass.  After more rain on the 29th, the year ended dry and cool.


                *** Wilmington NC   2014 Climate Data - Preliminary ***

            Avg Hi/Dep Avg Lo/Dep  Avg T/Dep  Warmest   Coolest   Precip/Dep
        JAN  54.9/-1.5  31.3/-4.3  43.1/-2.9  76/11th   14/25th   2.77/-0.99
        FEB  59.2/-0.7  37.5/-0.4  48.4/-0.5  78/21st   28/16th   2.69/-0.93
        MAR  62.6/-3.8  40.3/-3.5  51.5/-3.6  79/22nd   25/4th    6.39/+2.18  
        APR  76.9/+2.7  54.0/+2.4  65.5/+2.6  88/27th   38/17th   4.90/+2.08
        MAY  83.8/+3.1  64.4/+4.4  74.1/+3.7  92/28th   50/20th   2.49/-2.00
        JUN  88.6/+1.7  70.0/+1.3  79.3/+1.5  97/20th   54/2nd    2.48/-2.70
        JUL  87.6/-2.1  71.9/-0.7  79.8/-1.3  94/27th   65/6th   12.00/+4.52
        AUG  87.3/-0.8  70.9/-0.4  79.1/-0.6  95/22nd   63/28th   8.79/+1.38
        SEP  82.1/-1.6  68.1/+2.5  75.1/+0.5  92/12th   59/24th   6.00/-1.84
        OCT  77.8/+2.1  55.3/+0.7  66.5/+1.3  88/11th   44/20th   1.59/-2.30
        NOV  63.2/-4.8  40.5/-4.9  51.9/-4.8  78/12th   23/19th   4.68/+1.39
        DEC  60.6/+0.7  39.5/+1.7  49.8/+1.2  74/28th   29/11th   4.99/+1.37

        ANN  73.7/-0.4  53.6/-0.2  63.7/-0.3  97        14       59.77/+2.16

        Number of days with Temperatures...
         90 degrees of higher: 48 (8 more than normal)
         32 degrees or lower: 48 (13 more than normal)

        Heating degree days: 2548 (136 above normal)
        Cooling degree days: 2190 (146 above normal)

        Number of days with precipitation...
         0.01" or greater: 124 (11 fewer than normal)
         0.10" or greater: 81 (3 more than normal)
         0.50" or greater: 35 (at normal)
         1.00" or greater: 18 (1 more than normal)

        Snow or sleet fell on 6 days.
        Measurable snow or sleet fell on 4 days totaling 1.0 inches.

        Average wind speed: 7.6 MPH
        Maximum 2-minute wind speed: 43 MPH on July 3
        Maximum 5-second wind gust: 59 MPH on July 3


                *** Florence SC    2014 Climate Data - Preliminary ***

            Avg Hi/Dep Avg Lo/Dep  Avg T/Dep  Warmest   Coolest   Precip/Dep
        JAN  53.4/-1.9  28.7/-5.9  41.0/-3.9  73/11th   12/25th   2.36/-0.87
        FEB  59.1/-0.5  36.5/-1.0  47.8/-0.7  83/20th   26/27th   3.36/+0.44
        MAR  62.9/-4.7  38.2/-5.4  50.6/-5.0  82/11th   24/4th    4.55/+1.22
        APR  77.6/+1.8  52.0/+1.3  64.8/+1.5  89/28th   36/16th   4.47/+1.85
        MAY  85.7/+3.0  61.4/+2.0  73.6/+2.5  94/23rd   48/20th   2.62/-0.64
        JUN  92.3/+3.9  69.2/+1.2  80.7/+2.5  98/20th   56/2nd    0.98/-3.64
        JUL  91.0/+0.0  71.2/-0.2  81.1/-0.1 100/9th    64/30th   5.76/+0.50
        AUG  89.6/+0.2  69.8/-0.7  79.7/-0.2  98/22nd   61/28th   3.89/-1.35
        SEP  83.2/-1.0  67.7/+3.4  75.5/+1.3  99/2nd    57/24th   8.42/+4.75
        OCT  78.7/+3.2  54.3/+1.2  66.5/+2.2  89/11th   43/20th   1.32/-1.76
        NOV  62.6/-4.5  38.6/-5.1  50.6/-4.8  79/6th    20/19th   3.56/+0.89
        DEC  60.2/+2.4  39.1/+2.6  49.6/+2.5  76/28th   27/11th   3.20/+0.19
        ANN  74.7/+0.1  52.2/-0.6  63.4/-0.3 100        12       44.49/+1.56

        Number of days with Temperatures...
         90 degrees of higher: 76 (20 more than normal)
         32 degrees or lower: 56 (16 more than normal)

        Heating degree days: 2726 (202 above normal)
        Cooling degree days: 2278 (216 above normal)

        Number of days with precipitation...
         0.01" or greater: 110 (4 more than normal)
         0.10" or greater: 63 (7 fewer than normal)
         0.50" or greater: 30 (1 more than normal)
         1.00" OR greater: 13 (1 more than normal)

        Average wind speed: 6.7 MPH
        Maximum 2-minute wind speed: 36 MPH on July 15
        Maximum 5-second wind gust: 48 MPH on July 15


            *** North Myrtle Beach SC  2014 Climate Data - Preliminary ***

            Avg Hi/Dep Avg Lo/Dep  Avg T/Dep  Warmest   Coolest   Precip/Dep
        JAN  52.7/-2.4  31.8/-4.4  42.3/-3.4  69/20th   13/25th   1.81/-1.88
        FEB  56.1/-1.3  37.6/-1.0  46.9/-1.1  69/18th   29/12th   2.31/-1.11
        MAR  60.6/-3.5  40.0/-4.3  50.3/-3.9  73/31st   25/4th    4.74/+0.82
        APR  71.9/+0.6  53.5/+1.6  62.7/+1.1  80/23rd   39/17th   2.53/-0.43
        MAY  80.5/+1.9  63.8/+3.0  72.2/+2.5  93/23rd   50/20th   1.59/-1.82
        JUN  85.8/+1.3  70.7/+1.4  78.3/+1.4  91/26th   55/2nd    2.63/-2.01
        JUL  86.6/-1.0  72.6/-0.5  79.6/-0.7  94/27th   67/19th   6.44/+0.54
        AUG  86.1/+0.0  71.8/+0.1  79.0/+0.1  92/22nd   64/25th   6.60/-0.81
        SEP  81.8/-1.6  69.2/+2.3  75.5/+0.4  89/2nd    60/24th   4.57/-1.71
        OCT  76.6/+1.5  56.7/+1.0  66.6/+1.2  86/8th    45/25th   0.71/-3.17
        NOV  62.7/-3.9  41.1/-5.3  51.9/-4.6  76/12th   22/19th   3.86/+0.82
        DEC  59.9/+1.4  40.8/+1.8  50.4/+1.6  73/24th   29/11th   3.20/-0.26
        ANN  71.8/-0.6  54.1/-0.5  63.0/-0.5  94        13       40.99/-11.02

        Number of days with Temperatures...
         90 degrees of higher: 14 (2 fewer than normal)
         32 degrees or lower: 45 (15 more than normal)

        Heating degree days: 2658 (210 above normal)
        Cooling degree days: 1903 (128 above normal)

        Number of days with precipitation...
         0.01" or greater: 118
         0.10" or greater: 73
         0.50" or greater: 22
         1.00" OR greater: 11

        Average wind speed: 7.6 MPH
        Maximum 2-minute wind speed: 38 MPH on March 6
        Maximum 5-second wind gust: 50 MPH on March 6


            *** Lumberton NC   2014 Climate Data - Preliminary ***

            Avg Hi/Dep Avg Lo/Dep  Avg T/Dep  Warmest   Coolest   Precip/Dep
        JAN  51.3/-2.4  28.6/-4.6  39.9/-3.5  73/11th   10/30th   3.07/+0.10
        FEB  56.6/-1.4  35.4/-0.2  46.0/-0.8  80/20th   26/12th   3.00/+0.10
        MAR  60.2/-6.1  36.3/-5.7  48.3/-5.8  77/22nd   21/4th    3.42/+0.09
        APR  75.0/+0.5  49.7/+0.7  62.3/+0.6  85/29th   36/17th   4.17/+1.35
        MAY  84.9/+2.8  58.6/+1.0  71.7/+1.9  94/23rd   45/19th   3.60/+0.55
        JUN  91.9/+3.4  68.0/+0.6  80.0/+2.0  98/19th   50/2nd    7.57/+3.23
        JUL  89.5/-1.5  71.0/-0.3  80.3/-0.8  98/9th    64/6th    4.44/-1.04
        AUG  88.2/-0.1  69.0/-0.7  78.6/-0.4  97/22nd   60/28th   2.89/-2.61
        SEP  82.4/-1.3  66.7/+4.4  74.5/+1.5  97/2nd    57/30th   3.92/-0.88
        OCT  78.8/+3.3  51.8/+0.5  65.3/+1.9  91/11th   38/20th   0.70/-1.87
        NOV  62.7/-4.5  36.9/-4.5  49.8/-4.5  81/12th   15/19th   2.84/-0.03
        DEC  58.8/+2.0  37.6/+2.0  48.2/+2.0  74/1st    23/12th   2.78/-0.11
        ANN  73.4/-0.5  50.8/-0.6  62.1/-0.5  98        10       42.40/-1.12

        Number of days with Temperatures...
         90 degrees of higher: 68 (17 more than normal)
         32 degrees or lower: 63 (14 more than normal)

        Heating degree days: 3001 (240 above normal)
        Cooling degree days: 2061 (151 above normal)

        Number of days with precipitation...
         0.01" or greater: 121
         0.10" or greater: 71
         0.50" or greater: 30
         1.00" OR greater: 6

        Average wind speed: 6.0 MPH
        Maximum 2-minute wind speed: 38 MPH on February 21
        Maximum 5-second wind gust: 51 MPH on February 21

        Note: LBT ASOS rain gauge was inoperative on August 9th and missed a thunderstorm.


                 2014 Radar Estimated Precipitation                                            2014 Radar Estimated Precipitation Anomalies


Page Author:Tim Armstrong
Page Created: January 1, 2015
Last Edited: January 1, 2015