Highlands, North Carolina - Climate

Climate

Highlands has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cfb), with much cooler weather than the rest of the American South. This cooling is caused by its altitude. Astride the Eastern Continental Divide, at just over 4,100 ft (1,200 m), the town's elevation contributes to its relatively cool summers and abundant rainfall, averaging 87.57 inches (2,224 mm) per year. Average snowfall is only 6 inches (15 cm), largely due to the fact that Highlands is further south and east in the Appalachian Mountains. Areas of similar elevation on the northwest side of Appalachian region, such as Banner Elk, are not as protected from periodic blasts of Arctic air and receive more substantial snowfall. Regardless, Highlands is one of the very rare locations at this latitude that has an average high of 78°F or 26°C in July, far lower than the rest of the American South.

Climate data for Highlands, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21)
73
(23)
78
(26)
83
(28)
86
(30)
91
(33)
93
(34)
91
(33)
89
(32)
82
(28)
77
(25)
72
(22)
93
(34)
Average high °F (°C) 42
(6)
46
(8)
54
(12)
62
(17)
69
(21)
75
(24)
78
(26)
76
(24)
71
(22)
62
(17)
52
(11)
44
(7)
60.9
(16.1)
Daily mean °F (°C) 33
(1)
36
(2)
43
(6)
50
(10)
58
(14)
64
(18)
68
(20)
66
(19)
61
(16)
51
(11)
42
(6)
35
(2)
50.6
(10.3)
Average low °F (°C) 23
(−5)
25
(−4)
31
(−1)
38
(3)
46
(8)
53
(12)
57
(14)
56
(13)
51
(11)
40
(4)
32
(0)
26
(−3)
39.8
(4.4)
Record low °F (°C) −19
(−28)
−9
(−23)
−1
(−18)
13
(−11)
28
(−2)
35
(2)
43
(6)
43
(6)
30
(−1)
20
(−7)
−3
(−19)
−11
(−24)
−19
(−28)
Precipitation inches (mm) 7.35
(186.7)
7.18
(182.4)
7.56
(192)
6.41
(162.8)
6.32
(160.5)
7.04
(178.8)
6.34
(161)
6.64
(168.7)
7.63
(193.8)
5.95
(151.1)
8.17
(207.5)
8.16
(207.3)
84.75
(2,152.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.6
(9.1)
3.6
(9.1)
2.4
(6.1)
0.5
(1.3)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.5
(1.3)
2.2
(5.6)
12.9
(32.8)
Source: The Weather Channel (temps, precip), Weatherbase (snow)

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