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Meteorological summer starts; Charlotte hits 90 degrees

June 1 is when meteorologists start keeping summer weather records and it's unusual Charlotte hit 90 degrees so late in the year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — June 1 is a big day in meteorology. It's the beginning of hurricane season and it's when meteorologists switch to summer weather record keeping. 

Charlotte officially hit 90 degrees on Saturday around 3 p.m., but still, it's unusual that it took this long.

Meteorological summer:

Meteorologists love to complicate things and start calling it a new season about three weeks earlier than your calendar does. The reason why is to simplify record keeping into concrete months, instead of season dates that slightly fluctuate from year. For meteorologists:

This makes finding seasonal weather stats easy and helps align temperature ranges. June, July and August are typically the hottest months (summer) and December, January and February (winter) are the coldest.

Spring 2023 stats for Charlotte:

This spring was not a season that cracked the record books. Our average temperature and total precipitation was outside the top 20, so we really had to dig deep to find any notable stats. 

March and April were in the upper percentile for the warmest months.

  • March was the 23rd warmest
  • April was the 31st warmest

But May had a 10-day, below-average temperature stretch to end of the month. May was actually the 46th coolest on record. Still the season, as a whole, almost made the top 30 warmest list on record (31st).

Warm spring mornings:

One thing that stuck out was the morning temperatures were above average. Averaging all the low temperatures together, spring mornings in 2023 were the 18th warmest on record.

About 70% of the time Charlotte hits 90° before June. The spring season's high in Charlotte was only 89°. This makes it the 27th coolest highest temperature in a spring season. 

A later first 90° day:

On average, Charlotte has its first day of a 90-degree temperature or higher on May 20. There is over a 50% chance it will be hit sometime in the month of May. However, that didn't happen.

Less than 30% of the time, 90 degrees is observed first in June or in July. For example, in 2003, it took until July. 

Since 1879, Charlotte's first 90-degree temperature occurred 43 times after the month of May. This will be the 44th year this has happened.

The official temperature observation for Charlotte is measured at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Contact Chris Mulcahy at cmulcahy@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitterInstagram and TikTok.

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