Continued warmth through Thursday before a front swings by for Friday

/ January 17, 2023 at 8:20 PM

Temperatures look to stay well on the warm side of normal heading into the weekend, especially Wednesday and Thursday before a front late Thursday brings temperatures back down a little bit.

After showers subside tonight, we’ll stay mostly cloudy on Wednesday as morning stratus mixes out with high clouds still obscuring the sky to some degree. (Unfortunately, this will likely obscure a good view of another SpaceX launch around 7:15am.) Regardless of cloud cover, temperatures will head into the low 70s as southerly winds advect in a more warm and moist airmass well ahead of a cold front.

Thursday will run even warmer with highs in the mid-to-upper 70s expected. This will challenge record highs at the airport as well as downtown: the records are 78° and 77°, respectively, last set in 1950. It’ll also be turning quite breezy, with gusts 30+ MPH possible during the day, which might make for some tricky driving conditions on area bridges particularly in the afternoon and evening hours. After sunset, there will be a chance for a few showers as storms ahead of the front approach the area from the west on a weakening trend.

We’ll start Friday rain-free and a little cooler with lows around 50° as opposed to the mid-50s of the prior couple days. Cooler air will work into the area behind the Thursday night front, but highs in the mid-to-upper 60s will still be well above normal for mid-January.

Rain-free conditions persist for the first part of the weekend, with rain chances beginning to tick up Saturday night and into Sunday as a storm system moves by, with unsettled weather possibly continuing into the new work week.

Climatologically speaking, it gets warmer from here

January 14-17 is the climatologically coolest period for the Charleston area, with an average temperature of 49.2° based on the most recent 30-year climatology (1991-2020). January 18 begins the upward seasonal trend with an average temperature of 49.3°; by February 1, that average temperature is at 50.4°. Of course, this is just climatology speaking here — this doesn’t necessarily mean colder days can’t still happen — but statistically speaking, we’re through the coldest part of the year. (That has to count for something!)

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