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2021 finishes in the top 10 warmest years on record in Charlotte history

This year trended warm again, and it was much drier than last year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the fleeting hours of 2021, the weather record books can almost be closed. But these records we set this year will most likely remain.

The 9th warmest year on record

Last year, 2020 finished as the sixth warmest year on record, and now, 2021 joins the top 10 again, looking to settle in as the ninth warmest year on record.

Average all of the highs and lows for the year, Charlotte averaged 62.6 degrees from January to December. During that span, Charlotte hit at least 90 degrees 58 times (32nd most on record) and was at freezing and below 51 times (53rd least).

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Cracking the top 10 warmest years on record list is something that is becoming a trend for Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2015, the year ended as the fifth warmest on record which started a streak of seven years in a row that this list below has changed. And 2015 officially is no longer on the list. In fact, this year pushed it down to the 11th warmest on record. 

A dry year but not the driest

After a severe drought won over the weather headlines to end the year, 2021 finished as the 20th driest year on record. The total rain as of Dec. 31 was 35.67" (more than 7 inches below normal). This is the driest year since 2016, which was also the last time the Carolinas had a severe drought.

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The wettest day of the week

There were 112 days with measurable rain in 2021, which seems like a lot considering we will end the year with nearly all of North Carolina under a dry or drought status. But one day was wetter than the rest.

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Friday had measurable rain 23 times. That means 44% of all of the Fridays for the year it rained at one point in the day. Trace amounts of rain were not counted for these statistics. It rained the least on Tuesdays, seeing measurable rain only 12 times on the day of the week. 

The coldest low wasn't that cold

The coldest temperature of the year was on Feb. 4, 2021, when the morning fell to 20 degrees. This was the first time since 1998 that the coldest temperature of the year was 20 degrees or above. Since 1921 (over the last 100 years), this has only happened eight times.

  • 1992: 22 degrees
  • 1949: 22 degrees 
  • 1990: 21 degrees 
  • 1921: 21 degrees 
  • 2021: 20 degrees 
  • 1998 20 degrees 
  • 1946: 20 degrees 
  • 1931:20 degrees 

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Other facts and statistics

The wettest day of the year was July 26. The only day where over 2 inches of rain fell.

The warmest high temperature for the year in Charlotte was only 96 degrees --the same peak as last year.

RELATED: Weather IQ: Recap of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season

Contact Chris Mulcahy at cmulcahy@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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