By Paul T. Choate
Jan. 14, 2013. Record-breaking high temperatures were documented all across the Southeast United State on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12 and 13, including right here in the High Country.
According to local weather service Ray’s Weather Center, Boone, Banner Elk and Jefferson experienced record highs on Saturday, with Boone also tying a record on Sunday.
Thermometers in Boone reached 69 degrees on Saturday, breaking the record high for Jan. 12 of 66 degrees set in 1937. On Sunday, it got to 63 degrees, tying a record also set in 1937.
Banner Elk saw the temperatures hit 68 degrees on Saturday, shattering a nearly century-old record of 63 degrees set way back in 1916.
In Jefferson, 69 degrees on Saturday was plenty enough to top the record of 64 degrees, set 100 years ago in 1913.
Atop Grandfather Mountain at the Mile High Swinging Bridge new record highs were tallied on both Saturday and Sunday. According to Landis Wofford, Grandfather Mountain communications director, the temperatures hit 56.8 degrees on Saturday, breaking a record set in 2005, and 55.4 degrees on Sunday, breaking a record set in 2007. Wofford also noted that since the old record highs were tallied a few years ago, the weather station was moved to the Mile High Swinging Bridge to provide more accurate temperature readings.
Across the state line in Tennessee, temperature records were set on Saturday and Sunday in Johnson City according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) in Chapel Hill. Saturday’s high in Johnson City was 71 degrees, narrowly edging out the record of 69 degrees set in 2005. Then, on Sunday, the mercury rose just high enough to set a record at 73 degrees, beating the record of 72 degrees set in 1972.
Looking a bit farther away, the thermometers in Charlotte hit 75 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday according to SERCC, both of which were good for new records. The previous record high for Jan. 12 in Charlotte was 72 degrees, set in 1911. On Sunday, 75 degrees was enough to break a 106-year-old record of 74 degrees in Charlotte.
Our neighbors to the north in Virginia also experienced record highs this weekend, with Blacksburg experiencing a high of 69 degrees on Saturday and 71 on Sunday, beating records of 64 degrees and 67 degrees, respectively – both set in 2005. Roanoke also recorded a new high for Jan. 12, with 73 degrees on Saturday edging out a record set in 2005 by two degrees.
Certainly one of the older records that were replaced this weekend, Atlanta saw a high on Saturday that narrowly edged out a 123-year-old record. The last time the mercury reached as far as 75 degrees in Atlanta on Jan. 12 was 1890, according to SERCC. On Saturday, Hotlanta saw the thermometers hit 76 degrees.
Left out of the record-setting party was the Piedmont Triad. According to climate data from Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, neither Saturday nor Sunday saw new records. Temperatures got to 64 degrees on Saturday and 73 degrees on Sunday in Greensboro — well short of the record of 76 degrees for both Jan. 12 and 13.
Suffice to say it was a hot weekend for the middle of January – a very, very hot weekend. But get ready folks, because Mother Nature is about to offer up a shock to the system in the coming days, according to Ray’s Weather.
High temperatures will settle into the mid-40s from now until about Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will just feel downright cold after this weekend, with highs only projected to get to 40 on both days and lows creeping down into the mid-20s.
Also, prepare for a wet next couple of days, with Ray’s Weather projecting around three inches of rain to fall through Wednesday.
Looking farther out, your weekend outlook has temperatures settling into pretty much the seasonal range, with highs in the mid-to-upper-40s and lows around 30 or slightly less.
To stay on top of the weather in our area, visit raysweather.com.