North Carolina 

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Climate in North Carolina

North Carolina has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures average in the low 80s Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) in July and August, while winter temperatures range from the mid-40s Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) to the low 60s (17 degrees Celsius). Rainfall can be heavy at times throughout the year, with an average of over 47 inches per year. Areas along the coast tend to be more temperate due to the influence of ocean breezes that help moderate temperatures.

North Carolina, North Carolina gets 48 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.

North Carolina averages 4 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.

On average, there are 213 sunny days per year in North Carolina. The US average is 205 sunny days.

North Carolina gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 112 days per year. Precipitation is rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to the ground. In order for precipitation to be counted you have to get at least .01 inches on the ground to measure.

Weather Highlights

Summer High: the July high is around 88 degrees
Winter Low: the January low is 29
Rain: averages 48 inches of rain a year
Snow: averages 4 inches of snow a year


North Carolina's annual BestPlaces Comfort Index of 7.5 (10=best) indicates it is one of the most pleasant states in the United States.

6.9 / 6.7

Summer   /   Winter
May, September and October are the most pleasant months in the state of North Carolina, while January and July are the least comfortable months.

Climate Averages
  North Carolina, North CarolinaUnited States
  48.4 in.38.1 in.
  4.4 in.27.8 in.
  112.3 days106.2 days
  213 days205 days
  860 ft.2443 ft.


Many people confuse weather and climate but they are different. Weather is the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere is over long periods of time.

Weather is how the atmosphere is behaving and its effects upon life and human activities. Weather can change from minute-to-minute. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure.

Climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a place. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. Climate is the average of weather over time.

July is the hottest month for North Carolina with an average high temperature of 88.1°, which ranks it as warmer than most states. In North Carolina, there are 4 comfortable months with high temperatures in the range of 70-85°. The most pleasant months of the year for North Carolina are May, September and October.

North Carolina has 32.5 days annually when the high temperature is over 90°, which is hotter than most states in the U.S.

January has the coldest nighttime temperatures for North Carolina with an average of 29.1°. This is warmer than most of the U.S. states.

North Carolina has 72.6 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most states in the U.S.

North Carolina averages 0.2 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most states in the U.S.

Humidity in the state of North Carolina can be uncomfortable during the summer, but pleasant for most of the year. The most uncomfortably humid months are July, August and June. The humid season runs from June-September and the most comfortable months are October-May.

August is the wettest month in North Carolina with 5.0 inches of rain, and the driest month is April with 3.4 inches. The wettest season is Autumn with 30% of yearly precipitation and 23% occurs in Spring, which is the driest season. North Carolina's average annual rainfall of 48.4 inches indicates that it is wetter than most states in the United States.

July is the rainiest month in North Carolina with 11.4 days of rain, and October is the driest month with only 7.3 rainy days. North Carolina's annual average of 112.3 days with measurable rain is about average compared to other states in the United States. The rainiest season is Autumn when it rains 28% of the time and the driest is Winter with only a 21% chance of a rainy day.

North Carolina's average annual snowfall of 4.4 inches indicates that it is one of the least snowy states in the United States. January is the snowiest month in North Carolina with 1.8 inches of snow, and 4 months of the year have significant snowfall.

  • Annual Rainfall (US Avg: 36.5")
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    Reviews for North Carolina    89 Reviews
    Western NC is Not the place to live - 3/4/2020
    Western NC (eg Asheville, Hendersonville and surrounding areas) is Not the place to move to. No proper supporting jobs except tourism and elderly care. Horrendous drug... Read More

    Start Your Review of North Carolina

    Retirement living - 2/10/2018
    Lots of scenery, slow moving, minor crime and mostly friendly people. Natives only want your money: was told I needed to spend my money locally and not else ware. If you... Read More

    North Carolina is not safe. - 2/8/2017
    To Best Places: Due to an archaic discriminatory common law North Carolina is not a good place to move to or to live in. It is known as the 1% contributory negligence... Read More

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