Checking the weather today is as easy as checking your cell phone.  But did you know you can also monitor soil conditions and even levels of solar radiation plants use to grow?  It’s all thanks to a state network of climate stations.  BPR’s Helen Chickering takes us to the newest station in Asheville  that also doubles as a college classroom.

2018 was the wettest year on record in North Carolina. Now a new report finds during that very wet year, a spot in Western North Carolina broke a rainfall record.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

Climate City is just one of Asheville’s many nicknames.  A local nonprofit is working to elevate that moniker to a new level.  In March,  the climate innovation center,  The Collider, is kicking off ClimateCon 2018.  The business of climate is the headline event of the conference that organizers say – has something for everyone.  BPR’s Helen Chickering spoke with Megan Robinson, The Collider’s Executive director.

Winter is coming, later and later. And then spring comes ever earlier.

Analyzing freeze dates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that the days between the first freeze of fall and the last freeze of spring are shrinking.

The topic of climate change just got hotter on the heels of President Trump’s decision to pull  the U.S.  from the Paris climate agreement.   Retired Navy Rear Admiral  David Titley  is an international expert on climate change and national security .  He’s giving a talk at the Collider in Asheville.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

President Trump’s budget proposes funding cuts to regulatory and research-based agencies and would also impact state programs. We look at how this state might fare environmentally.

Tornado Detectives

Feb 23, 2017
UNC Asheville Chris Godfrey

Tornadoes aren’t common here western North Carolina, but they are in the southeast and when they strike, they tend to be deadlier and more destructive than in other parts of the country.    

A research team at  UNC Asheville is working to figure out why southeastern storms are so lethal by retracing the footprints of twisters the way detectives investigate a crime scene. 

WCQS's Helen Chickering reports. 


It was just minutes into the NFC championship game.

Fall is officially here, marking the end of a very hot summer here in Western North Carolina and across the country.  July went into the record books as the hottest month.  Along with the scorching temperatures came floods in Louisiana, and the threat of Zika in Florida.  Extreme climate events in the Southeast that not only impacted the environment – but human health.    

NOAA's 2015 Climate Report Part of Alarming Trend

Jan 25, 2016

2015 was the hottest year in recorded history, according to a report released jointly by NOAA and NASA last week.  The numbers were expected following months of record-breaking heat.  Much of that research and data is compiled at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information based in Asheville.  For more, WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Deke Arndt, NOAA's Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at NCEI.  


New data from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information based in Asheville finds December set records for the hottest and wettest month across the contiguous U.S.  The record month also boosted 2015 to the 2nd warmest year recorded for the contiguous U.S.  Only 2012 was warmer.  10 extreme weather events across the U.S.


2015 now expected to break the record for warmest year ever recorded.

NOAA: September 2015 Hottest Ever Recorded

Oct 27, 2015

A new report from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information based in Asheville finds September of 2015 was the hottest September ever recorded.  Thomas Karl, the center's director, says the earth continues to warm and the evidence overwhelmingly points to human beings as the cause, and specifically the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

Records have been kept since 1880.  From NOAA's press release:

Report: 2014 is the Hottest Year on Record

Jan 20, 2015

A report released last week by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville finds 2014 was the hottest year on record.  That’s based on temperatures measured since the year 1880.   And it’s part of a trend of warming temperatures around the globe.  Asheville resident and climate scientist Jessica Blunden led and coordinated the report.  She says there’s no question what’s causing the warming.