By Nathan Ham
With last year being the wettest season on record in Boone and surrounding areas, having a warm and dry ending to the month of May has been a welcome feeling for a lot of High Country residents.
High temperatures in the lower 80s will continue through Thursday with a slight chance of rain and cooler temperatures after a front moves through the area on Friday. High temperatures will get a bit more seasonal in the mid-70s this weekend, according to the latest forecast from Ray’s Weather Center.
It wasn’t long ago that low temperatures in the High Country were in the 30s and 40s. Boone reached a low temperature of 35.7 degrees on May 15 and had high temperatures of 56 degrees and 58 degrees the two days prior to that morning low temperatures.
Shift gears to two weeks later and high temperatures reached 80.8 degrees on Saturday, 80 degrees on Sunday and 79.7 degrees on Monday in Boone. The record high temperature for Boone in May was 88 degrees, reached twice on May 21, 1941, and May 28, 1941. The average high temperature for May is 69.5 degrees.
The heat has been the story throughout the entire southeast over the last couple of weeks. Augusta, Georgia tied a 141-year-old record on Friday with a high temperature of 98 degrees. Numerous cities have set a new high-temperature record for May that took place on Monday. Gainesville, Florida and Savannah, Georgia both reached 102 degrees on Monday to set all-time highs for May. Florence, South Carolina set a new record with 101 degrees on Monday and Jacksonville, Florida also reached triple digits for a new record of 100 degrees on Monday. Daytona Beach and Wilmington both reached 98 degrees on Monday for new records and Myrtle Beach set a record with 96 degrees.
In addition to the heat, a lack of precipitation has been a big story for May. Boone has received just 2.03 inches of rain so far in the month of May. Blowing Rock has gotten a little more rain this month being on the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway with just over 4.4 inches of rain. Banner Elk tallied just 2.8 inches of rain this month to date, Valle Crucis has gotten 3.87 inches, Beech Mountain has had 3.43 inches of rain and Linville has received 2.56 inches. Newland has just 1.62 inches of rain and hasn’t seen measurable precipitation since May 12.
Despite the lack of rain, it still won’t break a record for least precipitation for the month. In 1941, Boone received just 1.48 inches of rain. Another May record that looks safe is in Banner Elk where they received 11.5 inches of snow in 1914.