Soggy and chilly Thursday ahead

/ March 5, 2020 at 12:00 AM

We have a soggy Thursday ahead as a strong upper-level disturbance drives low pressure through the Gulf Coast states along a stalled front. Said disturbance will arrive with copious amounts of moisture to produce heavy rainfall, perhaps on the tune of 1-2″ on top of the 3/4-inch rainfall we’ve already received across much of the area on Wednesday. This may cause some concerns about localized flooding, particularly this afternoon near high tide. (More about that in a sec.) Rain will come to an end across the area Thursday evening as low pressure heads northeast, turning winds to the northwest and drying us out.

Temperatures will remain in the mid-to-upper 50s on Thursday as we look to remain in the cool sector of the storm for the duration of the event. While there could be some wobbles in the position of the aforementioned front, it’s expected to remain south of the area.

Flooding threat near high tide this afternoon

We’ll want to watch any heavy rain around the 4:41 PM high tide for potential flooding concerns. Tide levels are forecasted by NWS to peak around 5.5-5.9′ — which, while falling short of the 7′ tide needed for salt water flooding, is plenty high enough to impede drainage of heavy rainfall.

Confidence in some heavy rain in the area around the time of high tide is improving. Satellite observations show the upper-level disturbance making steady progress to the east, with low pressure straddling the Gulf Coast following suit. Short-term model guidance indicates quite a ramp-up of rain rates as we get into the afternoon when these features approach the Lowcountry. The devil will be in the small-scale details, but the situation is certainly worth watching.

With some elevated instability in the area, a few rumbles of thunder are possible. (This elevated instability will also help contribute to higher rain rates.) The Storm Prediction Center believes that much of the severe threat (winds, isolated tornadoes) will stay to our south today as we remain on the cooler side of the storm (which will only be reinforced by a day’s worth of rainfall). However, given ample wind shear and said instability, some hail might not be out of the question.

Improvement for the weekend

Fortunately for those of you in town for Charleston Wine & Food, our weather improves markedly as we get into Friday and the weekend. After some 60s early Friday afternoon, a reinforcing front swings through in the evening, bringing a cooler-than-normal day for Saturday with highs topping out in the mid-50s despite unfettered sunshine. Temperatures recover some on Sunday as sunny skies continue.

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