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2008 - The year in weather

READ MORE: 2008 - The year in weather
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The year got off to a very dry start as the drought from 2007 continued. We had trace amounts of sleet and snow across parts of the area late January 16th into the wee hours of the 17th. On January 19th, we got a trace of snowfall in Wilmington, however, some parts of Bladen and Robeson counties received up to an inch-and-a-half of the white stuff. We have also had our fair share of severe weather this year, but lucked out with only two tornadoes on March 15th. One touched down briefly near fair bluff, snapping numerous trees. There was scattered damage across western Columbus County. A stronger tornado, with winds up to 110 mph, touched down in Pender County around Hampstead. It damaged several homes and businesses. Up in Rocky Point, winds up to 90 -95 mph damaged five mobile homes with two blown off their foundations. Hurricane season was busy with 16 named storms, eight of which were hurricanes; five were major hurricanes, which means a category three or higher. But we lucked out as we were only impacted by two systems. In late July, Tropical Storm Cristobal brushed our coast bringing three to five inches of rain across parts of New Hanover County. In early September, all eyes were on Hanna. The storm had caused more than 500 deaths in Haiti and was the deadliest storm of the season. We were fortunate that the system weakened as it approached the NC/SC border. Hanna brought us strong tropical storm force winds, but only two to four inches of rain. Second street on Ocean Isle Beach was destroyed by the storm. In late September, we had our strongest storm. It wasn't a tropical system, but this offshore low definitely packed a punch. Winds gusted up to 50 and 60 mph and rainfall amounts ranged from one to five inches. Perhaps the biggest weather story was the 60 inches of rain we collected, compared to just 33 inches last year. We were declared out of the drought in September. Astronomically speaking, on February 20th our area had a great look at a total lunar eclipse. The next time the entire Continental US will see one like it is December 21st, 2010. On December 12th, we had the biggest, brightest full moon since 1993.

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