This report describes the typical weather at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (Charlotte, North Carolina, United States) weather station over the course of an average December. It is based on the historical records from 1974 to 2012. Earlier records are either unavailable or unreliable.
Charlotte, North Carolina has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by forests (71%), croplands (18%), built-up areas (8%), and lakes and rivers (4%).
The month of December is characterized by falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing from 57°F to 51°F over the course of the month, exceeding 70°F or dropping below 38°F only one day in ten.
Over the course of December, the length of the day is essentially constant. The shortest day of the month is December 12 with 9:48 hours of daylight; the longest day is December 1 with 9:56 hours of daylight.
The earliest sunrise is at 7:15am on December 1; the latest sunset is at 5:22pm on December 31; the latest sunrise is at 7:32am on December 29; the earliest sunset is at 5:11pm on December 4.
Daylight savings time is observed in 2012 but it neither starts nor ends in December, so the entire month is in standard time.
The median cloud cover ranges from 64% (partly cloudy) to 74% (partly cloudy). The trend is for the sky to be becoming cloudier with the median cloud cover increasing by 9% from the start to the end of the month.
On December 1, the clearest day of the month, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 53% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 46% of the time.
On December 25, the cloudiest day of the month, the sky is overcast, mostly cloudy, or partly cloudy 61% of the time, and clear or mostly clear 39% of the time.
The average probability that some form of precipitation will be observed in a given day is 39%, with little variation over the course of the month.
Throughout December, the most common forms of precipitation are moderate rain, light rain, and heavy rain.
Moderate rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 39% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around December 23, when it is observed during 16% of all days.
Light rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 32% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around December 15, when it is observed during 13% of all days.
Heavy rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 10% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around December 1, when it is observed during 4% of all days.
The likelihood of snow falling is highest around December 31, occurring in 6% of days.
Accumulation at this location in December is extremely unlikely. The chances of there being snow on the ground are highest around December 31, occurring 3% of the time.
The snow is typically at its deepest on December 31, with a median depth of 2.2"; the depth exceeds 3.2" only one year out of ten.
The relative humidity typically ranges from 44% (comfortable) to 87% (very humid) over the course of a typical December, rarely dropping below 24% (dry) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).
The air is driest around December 9, at which time the relative humidity drops below 53% (mildly humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around December 1, rising above 81% (humid) three days out of four.
Dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find the weather than relative humidity because it more directly relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid.
Over the course of a typical December, the dew point typically varies from 23°F (dry) to 42°F (dry) and is rarely below 6°F (dry) or above 59°F (comfortable).
Over the course of December typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 12 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 19 mph (fresh breeze).
The highest average wind speed of 7 mph (light breeze) occurs around December 31, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 12 mph (moderate breeze).
The lowest average wind speed of 6 mph (light breeze) occurs around December 12, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 12 mph (gentle breeze).