Charleston Weather Blog

Forecast explanations, atmospheric science, and other cool weather-related stuff for Charleston, SC

Thursday: Back to the 80s

/ October 5, 2022 at 9:55 PM

Thursday will be another nice weather day across the area with a seasonable chill to start and comfortable warmth to finish. Lows will once again start in the low-to-mid-50s away from the warmer coastline, but plentiful and virtually unobscured sunshine combined with winds generally out of the southwest will help temperatures reach the low 80s in the afternoon, right on the nose for early-October climatology. Should be a nice day for getting out and about!

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Rest of the work week: Warming up, some tidal flooding

/ October 4, 2022 at 9:44 PM

We’ve got another chilly start coming up on Wednesday morning as clear skies and light winds allow for good radiational cooling conditions. We should see temperatures take a dip back into the upper 40s by daybreak (away from the barrier islands and downtown, anyway). From there, a warming trend will commence as a pesky trough associated with the remnants of Ian (yes, really) finally begins to lift away from the area. High pressure will continue to build in from the west, and the resulting downslope flow will begin to help warm temperatures in earnest. Wednesday’s high will top out in the mid-70s under mostly sunny skies. The warming trend continues into Thursday and Friday, with lows bottoming out in the mid-50s and highs reaching around 80-81° each afternoon ahead of a cold front which will swing through Saturday, sending temperatures well back below normal for this point in October by Sunday and the following week. No rainfall is expected; indeed, quite the contrary as mostly sunny skies will continue to dominate.

The only weather hazard of note will be the potential for coastal flooding with the afternoon high tides particularly Thursday and again on Friday (and likely through the weekend) as the moon turns full. Southwesterly winds will keep any coastal flooding to a dull roar Wednesday and Thursday, but we may see water levels creep well into minor flood stage, perhaps approaching moderate flood Friday evening. As the front gets through on Saturday, winds turn northeasterly, which is a very favorable wind direction for coastal flooding, so we’ll need to continue to monitor evening high tides through the weekend for additional rounds of coastal flooding.

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Tuesday: A chill in the air, but a lot more sun

/ October 3, 2022 at 10:18 PM

If you liked Monday’s temperatures but would prefer more sun, Tuesday will have you covered. Skies are clearing as I write this post, and we will have a much brighter day ahead. More clear skies will allow temperatures to fall into the upper 40s across much of the metro area away from the immediate coast. The NWS forecast will be around 49°; if that verifies, that would be the first sub-50° low since it was 46° on May 10. Temperatures will rebound only to about 70° despite nearly full sunshine as we sit on the southern periphery of a deep trough of low pressure aloft and a northerly breeze keeps cool air filtering in.

The only potential snag in tomorrow’s weather will be the potential for a little coastal flooding with the mid-afternoon high tide. We might see some salt water coming out of drains around Lockwood Dr. as well as on Hagood and Fishburne near the Joe and Johnson Hagood Stadium. However, a widespread tidal flooding event is not expected.

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The week ahead: Quiet weather, fall feel

/ October 2, 2022 at 10:20 PM

So first and foremost: There will be no hurricane this week. Quite the opposite, in fact: it should be a very nice week of weather, with a little something for everyone — sweater fans will love Monday in particular, while by mid-week we’ll be comfortably warm before a dry cold front knocks temperatures back over the weekend.

Cloud cover will be persistent on Monday (with a tiny chance of a shower), keeping temperatures perhaps limited to the upper 60s. Cloud cover should scour out by Tuesday as a warming trend takes hold under sunny skies. We’ll be in the upper 70s to low 80s by Thursday and Friday ahead of the frontal passage. The front will be moisture-starved as it passes through on Saturday, likely only being able to yield an increase in cloud cover for the weekend, but we look to remain rain-free. Saturday looks to run a little warmer than Sunday right now, but both days should be excellent to get outdoors.

The only weather concern of note will be the potential for minor coastal flooding with the afternoon high tides. The moon will be at perigee (passing closer to Earth) approaching a full moon on October 9, which will help increase the water levels during times of high tide. Northerly wind directions will help keep these tides from getting out of hand, though as high pressure wedges southward over the weekend and winds turn more northeasterly, we may see some higher water levels. Stay tuned as those details work out.

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Weekend forecast: Calm after the storm

/ September 30, 2022 at 10:27 PM

We have a calm and comfortably warm weekend of weather ahead, which will help aid recovery efforts after the lashing Ian gave our area on Friday. We’ll have very seasonally appropriate starts to each day, with lows in the mid-50s on Saturday and lows in the upper 50s on Sunday, followed by highs getting into the upper 70s in the afternoon. Dewpoints will be comfortable, generally running in the upper 50s to low 60s.

There’s been some concerns about lingering tidal effects from Ian today, but offshore flow will keep us well out of jeopardy of broaching any coastal flood thresholds over the next several days. The only lingering effect will be a moderate risk of rip currents through the weekend, so be aware of this if you’re thinking of getting into the Atlantic waters.

Overall, aside from a slight chance of a shower on Monday, we have several days to dry out to start October. This will be quite beneficial — recovering from a storm can be difficult, especially if you have sustained damage, and the last thing you want is more bad weather on top.

Ian’s impacts peak Friday; what to expect

/ at 12:13 AM

Ian’s impacts will be felt most on Friday as the center of the storm makes its closest approach to the Charleston metro area. Ian, once again a hurricane with 85 MPH maximum sustained winds, has seen several shifts in its forecast track throughout the day, moving the forecast landfall point from Beaufort this morning to Georgetown this evening. Charleston now sits on the western fringe of the error cone — a more southerly landfall cannot yet be ruled out — but it increasingly looks like we will spend time on the western side of the storm. This will reduce the tornado threat to nearly zero and should act to blunt the impacts of storm surge as well (but may not totally eliminate it, either). However, as Ian has started to take on a more hybrid structure — less of a tropical cyclone and more of a cold-core low — it is likely that the wettest and even windiest part of the storm may be the northwest side. So, while we might miss out on more of the severe storm surge impacts, the specter of more residence time with heavy rain certainly looms large.

Based on the 11PM advisory, here’s what you can expect for Friday:

Overall, cautious optimism is key. If the center should shift back a little more southwestward toward our location, we could see an increase in these impacts, particularly when it comes to surge.

Ian will wind down quickly after landfall, and by Saturday dry air will be punching in, shutting off a vast majority of the rain (a shower or two can’t be ruled out) and bringing the sun back out, with highs in the upper 70s expected.

Bottom line: Hunker down tomorrow and hang in there — it’ll be over before you know it.

What to expect: Ian impacts begin Thursday, peak Friday, taper Saturday

/ September 28, 2022 at 11:37 PM

We are breezy but rain-free this evening as dry high pressure remains in control of our weather. It will hang on for a bit for the first part of Thursday, but a gradual deterioration in weather will begin in the afternoon. It’s a good time to finish gathering supplies for a rough period of weather beginning later Thursday through Saturday morning.

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Wednesday: Cooler and turning breezy

/ September 27, 2022 at 11:28 PM

Wednesday will likely represent the last really decent weather day across the Lowcountry before winds begin to turn much more breezy as Ian approaches the area starting Thursday. (A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect, too.) It’ll be a good day to bring things in from outdoors, check on your batteries, flashlights, and weather radios, and if in a flood-prone area, sandbag property appropriately if needed. We’re in for what might be a tricky few days…but it’s nothing we won’t be able to handle, either.

It’s gonna feel a lot cooler Wednesday, that’s for sure, as high pressure builds in from the north. Winds will turn northeasterly and be gusty at times, with gusts around 25-30 MPH possible, higher closer to the coast. Temperatures will start out in the upper 50s and stay cool, with mid-70s at best with thickening cloud cover ahead of Ian blanketing the skies. We stay rain-free thanks to a deep layer of dry air closer to the surface, however.

Minor coastal flooding will be a concern with the 10:07am and 10:17pm high tides as the northeasterly flow around high pressure to the north drives water levels higher. This could be enough to close a couple roads in the more vulnerable areas, such as around Gadsden Creek. Major disruptions to travel aren’t anticipated, however.

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Tuesday: Cooler behind a front as we continue to monitor Ian

/ September 26, 2022 at 9:11 PM

We’ll turn cooler tomorrow as a front gets through tonight. Expect lows to run a few degrees lower in the mid-60s (a touch warmer near the coast where water temperatures still hover around 80°). Highs will get to the low 80s under a mix of clouds and sun as high pressure wedges in from the northeast. It’ll be a good day to get prep work done ahead of Ian, which continues to look to produce impacts in the Lowcountry later this week.

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The week ahead: Starting quiet, but Ian’s impacts possible later this week

/ September 25, 2022 at 9:35 PM

The week ahead will be punctuated by rough weather conditions courtesy of what is currently Tropical Storm Ian, which is finally beginning to intensify as I write this. It is expected to intensify into a major hurricane by as early as Tuesday morning, head over the western tip of Cuba, and then into the Gulf of Mexico where it moves up peninsular Florida’s Gulf Coast on the way to a landfall late Thursday/early Friday.

The week starts out innocuously enough; highs will head toward 90° on Monday ahead of a cold front which will push southeastward across the area throughout the day with maybe a shower, but the vast majority of us stay dry. Said front will knock Tuesday’s highs back to the low 80s under partly to mostly cloudy skies as high pressure wedges southward into the area. The front that got through Monday will then stall out and begin to retreat northwestward as a warm front on Wednesday as Ian approaches Florida. This could help spread a little shower activity in our direction, but otherwise expect mostly cloudy skies and significantly cooler temperatures — highs topping out only in the mid-70s underneath increasingly breezy northeasterly flow as the gradient between Ian to the south and high pressure centered to our north begins to tighten.

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