Strong storm potential this weekend

/ May 10, 2019 at 5:20 PM

We will need to keep an eye on the weather this weekend as a couple rounds of strong to severe storms will be possible, particularly Sunday, as the upper-level ridge which has been squelching a lot of thunderstorm activity slides offshore.


Much of Saturday appears to be quiet, with the threat for showers and thunderstorms arriving in the area in the afternoon and evening hours as upper level energy brushes the area. High-resolution models suggest that these storms will weaken as they approach the coast Saturday afternoon, so the best risk of severe storms is going to be outside of Charleston proper — generally from US 17 inland. It will be warm and muggy — temperatures will get into the mid-80s with dewpoints in the low 70s.

If you are participating in commencement exercises at College of Charleston, pack the fans, but you should escape much of the inclement weather. (And congratulations, BTW!)


The risk for severe storms is a little higher on Sunday as a cold front pushes into the area. Wind shear improves Sunday afternoon, and with some cooler and drier air poking in aloft, the risk is there for thunderstorms to turn strong and severe with damaging winds and large hail. The risk for severe weather is evident all the way to the coast, associated with the cold front as it moves through. It will be a little warmer to start the day with highs in the upper 80s ahead of any thunderstorm activity.

There is some uncertainty with the severe threat on Sunday as there is the potential for storms to linger and even organize overnight. This could complicate the forecast greatly. Best advice is to stay tuned to updates as the forecast gets more into focus.

Drought watch

It’s getting worse. As of today, we’re running an 8″+ deficit at the airport and 7″+ in downtown Charleston. Thursday’s drought monitor continues a moderate drought across the Lowcountry.

Unfortunately, the pattern is setting up in a way that doesn’t bring much in the way of relief. Much of the heaviest rainfall will stay well inland of the drought-stricken areas as that is where the best support for efficient rainfall production will be found thanks to the upper-level configuration.

Some locally heavy rainfall will be possible within the strongest thunderstorms, but overall, the current forecast isn’t for much more than a quarter-inch of rain in most locations. With deficits like this, that isn’t gonna get it done.

Bottom line

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