Record Cold in North Carolina Piedmont

Breaks record set in 1960

“Late-season chill sets record at RDU before gradual warm up,” read the headline on May 8.

“At 4:08 AM the temperature dropped to 37° in #Raleigh,” said WRAL meteorologist Zack Maloch. “It’s quite chilly for May and we broke the Record Low that was previously 40° set in 1960.”

“It really feels chilly,” said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. “It wouldn’t be out of the question to see a little bit of frost near the Virginia line.”

“(It was) a record-breaking day for cooler temperatures in the Triangle. The coolest high temperature on record at RDU for Ma 12 was broken on Wednesday, when temperatures only reached 57 degrees. The previous high temperature was 58 degrees in 1960.

“This was record-breaking miserable weather,” said WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell. “At times, we were 30 degrees below our normal high in the upper 70s.”

The upside to the rain and chilly temperatures is that pollen levels are low, according to Campbell.


4 thoughts on “Record Cold in North Carolina Piedmont”

  1. It was certainly cold here in Charleston yesterday with only low 50’s by late afternoon and rain. With NE brisk winds it felt like late February here!
    I had to heat up the house again this morning in mid May. It was a shock to the system. Unseasonable cool weather will prevail here again tonight thru tomorrow night in these areas of the eastern Carolina’s with lows upper 40’s inland from the coast. More typical for early April.

  2. Where we live in the North Carolina mountains north of Boone, it was 37 at lunch time with a wet snow/rain mix on the 12th. Then it dropped to 33 on the ridges and 28 in the valley the morning of the 13th and a lot of frost.

  3. Here and in continental Europe, mid-May typically experiences “black-thorn winter” aka “Cold Sophie,” short-lived regional cold-snaps signaled Spring planting before Summer Solstice warmth.

    From late Roman times, this four-day
    interval –Julian May 12th – 15th, ten Gregorian days later from 1582– preceded the Western
    Church’s Rogation Days of harvest supplication (from Latin Robigus, a pagan demiurge)
    following astronomical Ascension Day and Easter.

    Because winter’s seasonal end preceded the Roman litany’s Feast Days commemorating Saints Boniface, Mamertus, Pancras and Servetius, under Pope Leo III the early 6th Century Council of Orléans conjoined these ad hoc “Ice Saints” in a liturgical Rite of Spring.

    “There is only The Dance.”

  4. It’s been really cool and dry all spring this year. We just moved to the area just under 2 years ago. Last spring was very warm and it rained almost constantly. In fact, 3x the normal rain from April 2020 to March 2021. Now I think we’re below average rainfall and the number of times we’ve had frost or flirted with it is surprising. Reminds me of springs up in NY growing up. Early this morning we hit 46, so still quite chilly at night. Still getting a feel for normal weather patterns here, so don’t know if this is within normal range, but quite a few cold records have been broken in the last couple months here.

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