The week ahead: Drying out and cooling off

/ November 15, 2020 at 9:49 PM

A cold front is swinging through the Southeast Sunday evening, which will bring a stop to the ridiculously humid weather we’ve been experiencing this past week. Temperatures will be right around normal to start the week under full sunshine. A reinforcing shot of cool air on Wednesday will knock us firmly into sweater weather territory, with moderating temperatures into the 70s for the weekend. The week looks to remain rain-free, which will be awfully nice after the tropical soaking we took last week.

Coastal flooding to continue around morning high tides

Astronomical influences and water loading from a weekend of very high tides will continue to drive water levels to moderate flood stage with the morning high tides through at least Wednesday. This will almost certainly close a few roads during the morning commute, so if downtown is in your plans, be aware. The lack of rain will keep the flooding threat limited to places on the Westside, especially around Gadsden Creek near The Citadel and the Joe. Remember: Do not drive around barricades! Roads are closed for a very good reason.

Tying an ignominious record: Six major coastal flooding events in 2020

Preliminarily, Sunday morning’s tide topped out at 8.13′ mean lower low water in the harbor, netting the Charleston area its sixth major coastal flooding event (tides at or over 8′) in 2020. This ties 2015 for the most on record (records start in 1953). It’s worth noting that 2020’s major flooding events were not driven by tropical cyclones. (In fact, Isaias only produced minor coastal flooding as its peak surge arrived at low tide.)

With Sunday morning’s tide, we are up to 61 total coastal flooding events for the year. This is only second to last year’s ridiculous number of 89 total coastal flooding events.

As always, the National Weather Service in Charleston’s Coastal Flood Event Database is a great source for lots of coastal flooding statistics for the Charleston area, and helped me construct these statistics above.

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