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Charleston Weather Blog

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

Stormy Tuesday, then a more seasonable week ahead

/ March 29, 2020 at 5:15 PM

After a downright summer-like weekend, more seasonable conditions (with even some below-normal temperatures) will assert themselves as we kick off April. First, though, we’ll get a few showers and storms through the area on Tuesday.

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Record heat possible this weekend

/ March 26, 2020 at 6:01 PM

Weather will turn sharply warmer on Friday as Mother Nature boots up the heat pump, with record highs in the forecast Friday through Sunday. Records at the airport are likely to fall all three days as a rather strong subtropical ridge builds in from the south and surface winds swing around to the south and southwest. The ridge will help keep any sort of thunderstorm activity at bay, too, with just fair weather cumulus mixing in for some brief relief from sunshine from time to time. Dewpoints will stay relatively sane in the mid-60s, so while it’ll be hot, it won’t be quite as humid as we might find in the summertime. Temperatures moderate some as you get closer to the coast, with mid-80s expected in downtown Charleston, and mid-to-upper 70s at the beaches thanks to water temperatures around 65°. Suffice to say, this is a terrible weekend for beaches to be closed. Please continue to stay close to home and do your part to ensure we can stop the spread of COVID-19!

Tuesday turns warmer with scattered showers, maybe a storm

/ March 23, 2020 at 7:02 PM

After a stubborn high pressure wedge held firm across SC for a good bit of the day, we will warm significantly on Tuesday as low pressure moves across a pesky frontal boundary which is expected to lift north across SC as the day goes on. Highs should top out in the upper 70s in most spots; wouldn’t be surprised to see an 80° reading peek through depending on how much sun can break through cloud cover. Said low pressure will help spur on some scattered showers and thunderstorms. It won’t rain all day, and rain amounts should generally be light, though a few downpours cannot be ruled out.

Most of us should not be headed out and about unless it is for essential trips for provisions or prescriptions. To the grocery workers, pharmacists, medical professionals, and first responders still heading into the community despite the threat from coronavirus, we salute you all.

The week ahead: Showery, then turning summery

/ March 22, 2020 at 5:37 PM

We’ll get off to a bit of a showery start this week as a mess of frontal boundaries and upper-level disturbances interact to bring occasional rainfall to the area. Temperatures will rebound nicely from Sunday’s low 60s into the low 70s on Monday. A warm front crossing north of the area Tuesday will bring some shower chances and slightly warmer temperatures. By Wednesday, a cold front trailing from a low pressure system moving through the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic will bring us a few more showers — and a return to the 80s — before clearing the area.

The aforementioned front will bring a drop in dew points on Thursday, but won’t necessarily cool things off too much thanks to deep westerly flow around a ridge of high pressure in the Gulf of Mexico. As we get into the weekend, said ridge will move eastward and strengthen. At the same time, surface flow will turn more southwesterly, ushering in early summer-like conditions for Friday and Saturday. A record high appears likely on Friday and may be threatened Saturday as temperatures top out in the upper 80s. A 90° reading somewhere inland may not be out of the realm of possibility, depending on where the ridge sets up. Sinking motion in the atmosphere will keep rain chances muted into the weekend.

Weekend: One more day of 80s, then a sharp cooldown

/ March 20, 2020 at 10:35 PM

Our abnormal warmth will continue for one more day on Saturday before showers enter the picture during the afternoon ahead of a cold front. Said front will push south of the area sometime late Saturday/early Sunday, and with that will come chilly high pressure wedging south. This, combined with periodic rain from moisture overrunning the high pressure wedge, will keep Sunday’s highs in the upper 60s at best. Rainfall amounts will generally be confined to a quarter-to-half-inch in most spots, so nothing too out of hand — just more drink for the garden.

Warmth continues, but changes are in store

/ March 19, 2020 at 6:11 PM

After maxing out just a couple degrees shy of a record high on Thursday (83°, to be exact), temperatures will remain well above normal for Friday and Saturday before a backdoor cold front wedges cooler high pressure at the surface for Sunday. This cool wedge will knock temperatures much closer to normal for this time of year. Showers will be possible ahead on Saturday, and then become more prevalent as Sunday wears on as a disturbance ripples through the area. Cooler weather will then hang on for the first part of the work week, but expect 80s to return toward the second half.

Thursday: After fog, record highs possible

/ March 18, 2020 at 5:47 PM

After topping out in the mid-70s today, temperatures will really start to crank up on Thursday. If the forecast verifies, it’ll feel more like late May as opposed to mid-March. The record high of 85, last set in 2012, is certainly within reach and will be watched closely. Overall, expect temperatures 10-15° above normal across the area. Rain chances are nil as a lack of triggering mechanisms at the surface and ridging aloft will put the kibosh on any airmass showers that try to form. The only potential weather hazard looks to be some patchy fog in the morning. If you’re headed outdoors for a physically distant walk, be ready to sweat a little!

Of note: The vernal equinox will occur tomorrow night at 11:50 PM. This is a rather early start to astronomical spring as it is, but meteorologically, it’s been spring for a few weeks now. (We’ll give you this one, Phil.)

Scattered showers and warmer for Wednesday

/ March 17, 2020 at 6:24 PM

A warm front will lift north of the area tomorrow, bringing with it another round of scattered showers and perhaps a thunderstorm. Temperatures will run even warmer — mid-70s appear likely in the afternoon, with lows in the upper 50s to low 60s. Watch for fog in the morning if you have to commute.

Tuesday: Turning warmer with scattered showers

/ March 16, 2020 at 11:23 PM

Tuesday will bring some scattered showers, primarily in the morning, as a disturbance swings through the area. Said disturbance will help usher out the high pressure wedge that’s been in place for the last day or so, allowing temperatures to rise into the low 70s in the afternoon. We may see some peeks of sun toward the end of the day, but expect copious amounts of cloud cover to add a little gloom to a socially isolated St. Patrick’s Day.

The week ahead: A return to warmth with periods of showers

/ March 15, 2020 at 11:26 PM

The weather is probably the easiest thing that we’ll be able to predict this week, so here goes: After a (relatively) chilly Monday, this week’s weather will turn gradually warmer, with the occasional rain shower or two at times. We should be in the 80s by Thursday and stay around that mark through Saturday. A cold front looks to swing through the area on Sunday, knocking temperatures well below mid-March normals while bringing more showers to the area.

Overall, expect rainfall amounts to be light. We continue to run a surplus of a little under an inch of rain for this point in March, so this will just serve as a sprinkle on top of your gardens, which look safe from any frost or freeze conditions for the foreseeable future.

Aside from that, the advice is simple: Be good to each other.