Author: Jared Smith

Jared Smith founded @chswx on Twitter in 2008 as an experiment in disseminating weather data through social media. Somehow, it caught on, and he kept doing it.

Rest of the work week: A couple rain-free days, then another shot at solid rainfall

/ May 24, 2022 at 8:19 PM

The forecast turns a touch quieter for a couple days as a front sags south across the area, capping the atmosphere off a bit and limiting shower and thunderstorm development. Expect partly cloudy skies for Wednesday and Thursday with highs topping out generally in the mid-80s. While you can never totally discount a shower or storm this time of year, strong capping on the atmosphere should prevent much in the way of storms.

Rain chances return on Friday as a surface cold front, aided by a trough of low pressure aloft, approach the area. We’ll see plenty of moisture streaming into the area thanks to the upper-air configuration, which should aid numerous showers and thunderstorms heading into Friday afternoon and evening. (Not exactly great timing for the Spoleto opener.) The atmosphere will be pretty juiced, too, allowing for heavy rainfall to be an issue in some spots. We’ll want to keep an eye out for flooding as a result. We do need the rain, but perhaps not all at once! With the rain and cloud cover in the area, expect high temperatures in the mid-80s after starting in the low to mid-70s.

More traditional summer-like storms expected Tuesday

/ May 23, 2022 at 9:57 PM

We remain warm and muggy on Tuesday as we remain on the warm side of a stalled frontal boundary to our north. Storm coverage should be a little lower for the afternoon, generally driven by daytime heating and the seabreeze, but a few spots may still yet get some heavy rain and even some gusty winds. Widespread severe weather is not anticipated, though. Highs in the afternoon top out in the upper 80s with heat indices in the low 90s.

Later in the evening, the aforementioned frontal boundary should get a bit of a move-on as low pressure heads eastward across North Carolina. Some of the convection-allowing models push the front into the area as early as 9-10 PM, accompanied by showers and maybe some thunderstorms. We’ll see how this ultimately pans out. Regardless, we should see the front — and some slightly drier air — at least temporarily poke into the area for Wednesday, stalling out over or just south of the Tri-County. Wait and see, but for now, we’ll continue to take the shots for beneficial rainfall, as long as the extra-curricular activity remains to a minimum.

The week ahead: More chances for beneficial rainfall

/ May 22, 2022 at 5:04 PM

It rained today — really, really well, in fact — and that felt nothing short of miraculous. Quite a few gauges in the metro area recorded over 1” of rain from this morning’s thunderstorms. We’ll have additional shots at beneficial rainfall this week, especially at the beginning and the end, while temperatures generally remain around normal.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to redevelop during the day Monday as slugs of tropical moisture from a disturbance in the Gulf — the first to gain the Hurricane Center’s attention this year, though development is unlikely — traverse the area and interact with a stalling cold front to our north. This should bring some more substantial rains to at least some of us by Monday afternoon. Temperatures will hold in the mid-80s given cloud cover and expected thunderstorm activity.

The stalled front hangs around Tuesday, though the Gulf disturbance will be departing the weather picture. There will still be plenty of moisture around, though, and that combined with the lingering front should help kick off additional showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Expect more of the same going into Wednesday, too, though showers and thunderstorms should be a little more isolated. Rain chances head back up for Thursday and Friday as a cold front pushes toward the area from the west. There’s still going to be plenty of moisture around, and some heavy rainfall will be possible from any storms that develop.

The cold front clears the area and stalls out offshore as we kick off the Memorial Day weekend. Rain chances could still hang around given the proximity of the front, but they’d be relatively slight. It should feel a touch less humid, too, which would be welcome news as Spoleto opens. Keep an eye on forecast updates as this will become more clear as the week goes on.

The weekend: Warm, humid, and popup storms

/ May 20, 2022 at 9:45 PM

Our run of early summer weather continues into the weekend. While temperatures will be lower than we’ve seen recently — we hit 95° yesterday, and 94° today — we’ll be adding popup showers and thunderstorms back into the mix each afternoon, which is typically the other mode of summer weather we see around these parts.

The drill remains the same: No washout, but conditions could change quickly in the afternoon as thunderstorms develop. Expect storms to develop in the early afternoon around the Highway 17 corridor before moving inland with the seabreeze heading into the late afternoon and evening hours. A storm or two could turn strong to severe with damaging wind gusts and large hail, but an organized, widespread severe weather threat is not on the table here either day. Just be ready to move indoors if thunderstorms approach — remember, lightning makes every thunderstorm dangerous.

I know y’all are thirsty for rain, and this weekend represents a decent chance for many of us to see some much-needed precipitation. Keep in mind, though, that the scattered and cellular nature of these storms will mean that a few people could see quite a bit of rain, while others may not measure much if any. The good news is that we are heading into a more unsettled weather regime getting into next week, so many of us should see at least a little drought relief before the month is over.

Temperatures will run in the upper 80s to around 90 each afternoon after starting in the low 70s each day, still above normal for this time of year. We look to stay in this temperature regime heading into next week depending on how far south a cold front can get.

Friday & the weekend: One more hot day before afternoon storm chances return

/ May 19, 2022 at 5:29 PM

We hit 95° at the airport today, making it the warmest day of the year thus far in the Charleston metro area. As of this writing, the cap has held, too, and there are no thunderstorms to speak of. We should repeat this performance tomorrow under partly cloudy skies, with temperatures starting in the mid-70s in the morning to the low-to-mid-90s in the afternoon. Once again, a dearth of energy and a strong cap will keep thunderstorms at bay for Friday, so don’t count on any heat relief in that regard.

We start to see the high pressure ridge begin to shift away a little on Saturday, though, opening the door for afternoon showers and thunderstorms. They’ll be scattered about, so not everyone will see measurable rain. Where it does rain, though, it could be heavy. Highs top out in the upper 80s to around 90°, tempered by afternoon thunderstorms.

We should see similar weather on Sunday, with even more numerous showers and thunderstorms expected that afternoon. Again, though, some spots may see a downpour while others get little to no measurable precipitation. There also appears to be a risk for a few storms to be on the strong side with strong downburst winds and perhaps hail. Widespread severe weather, at this point, doesn’t appear likely, though.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms remain in the forecast each afternoon thus far next week, so if you miss out on the rain this weekend, there’s still plenty of chances to come.

Turning hot on Thursday; a strong storm or two is possible as well

/ May 18, 2022 at 6:29 PM

The hottest weather thus far in 2022 looks to arrive on Thursday. We’ll start the day in the upper 60s and warm well into the mid-90s in the afternoon. The record high of 96°, set in 1996, will be challenged under partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies. Heat indices could run close to 100° in the afternoon, so be sure to hydrate and take breaks accordingly.

As a series of mid-level disturbances ripple through the area, there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms to fire off and move through in the late afternoon and evening hours. IF storms can fire — and this is a big IF — they could be on the strong to severe side. The thermodynamics certainly look good for storms to produce damaging wind gusts and large hail, but it remains to be seen if they can get going thanks to a strong cap on the atmosphere. Gonna be a game of wait, see, and watch the satellite and radar in the meantime.

Read more »

Rest of the work week: Getting hot in here

/ May 17, 2022 at 5:49 PM

No mincing words: Here comes the heat. Mostly sunny skies combined with high pressure at the surface and aloft will bring us a period of hot weather to close out the work week.

Wednesday will be the last day of the warm-but-not-horribly-humid weather. We’ll start the day in the mid-60s away from the warmer coastline on our way to flirt with 90° once again in the afternoon. The saving grace will be dewpoints in the mid-50s at peak heating, which will help keep heat indices well in check.

Southerly winds, though, will begin to send warm and humid air into the area. Thursday should feature the hottest temperatures thus far this season, with highs in the mid-90s expected away from the coast. Heat indices will run into the upper 90s given the elevated humidity (though certainly not quite as bad as, say, July or August). Mostly sunny skies will persist, so don’t count on cloud cover — much less a thunderstorm — to cool things off briefly.

We should see similar, if not slightly cooler, temperatures for Friday — not that it is much consolation given the NWS forecast highs are topping out in the low 90s still. Skies will once again be mostly sunny and devoid of afternoon thunderstorms.

Shower and storm chances begin to increase Saturday afternoon into next week as the ridge aloft breaks down a bit. We have a few days of scattered storm chances in the offing getting into next week along with cooler temperatures as a cold front moves across the area before stalling, so the good news is that this won’t last forever. For now, though, stay cool and keep on watering in the evenings.

Tuesday: A little less humid

/ May 16, 2022 at 6:23 PM

A cold front will sink south of the area very early Tuesday morning, ushering in a slightly cooler and drier airmass for the next couple days before the heat pump really kicks up starting Thursday.

Of course, by “slightly cooler and drier” I mean “it won’t be 90° with a dewpoint in the mid-60s in the afternoon,” so keep that in mind as you set expectations for what Tuesday will feel like. But, indeed, it should feel a little better than Monday did. With a slightly drier airmass, the afternoon cumulus field should be a little bit more scattered, allowing for more sunshine. Highs top out in the mid-to-upper 80s thanks to northeasterly flow developing across the area, coolest at the immediate coast.

The northeasterly winds combined with the recent full moon at perigee should further enhance the risk for tidal flooding with the evening high tide (peaks a little after 10 PM), with another round of moderate flooding likely between 7 and midnight. Be ready for some sporadic road closures once again as a result.

As foretold earlier, we’ll get one more day of comfortable warmth on Wednesday before a warm front lifts north and the heat pump turns on for Thursday and Friday. Expect highs in the mid-90s for the first time this year away from the coast then, with heat indices perhaps creeping into the upper 90s. Summer’s just about here, folks, whether we want it or not!

The week ahead: Summer returns — rain, not so much

/ May 15, 2022 at 5:02 PM

Summer’s back this week as above-normal temperatures once again take root across the area thanks to high pressure and dry air precluding much in the way of thunderstorm formation for a majority of the week.

Monday afternoon offers the best shot at a shower or thunderstorm — albeit at around a 30% probability — as a cold front approaches the area and stalls out. A storm or two could be on the strong side with damaging wind gusts and large hail possible., but the vast majority of us won’t see severe weather, and a good bit of us may not even see much in the way of rain — unwelcome news for a still-parched Lowcountry.

The aforementioned front stalls out Tuesday and lingers in the area through Wednesday. Drier air, though, is going to keep rain chances squelched for the most part. Once the front lifts back north as a warm front and high pressure builds back from the west Wednesday into Thursday, temperatures will start to respond by heading into the low to even mid-90s in some spots, especially Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, rain chances are held to a whimper.

High pressure starts to loosen its grip over the weekend, and afternoon thunderstorm chances start to tick up as a result (though isolated to scattered coverage is expected at best). Highs will continue to run above normal in the low 90s on Saturday before moderating slightly back to the upper 80s on Sunday.

For now, though, keep on watering and feel free to get your car washed, because Mother Nature’s going to be of little to no help in that department for at least the next week.

Weekend forecast: Showers diminish, warmth returns

/ May 13, 2022 at 4:59 PM

After today’s round of rain for many of us, we return to a drier and warmer pattern once more as low pressure slips out of the area. While isolated to scattered thunderstorms will be possible each afternoon, a good bit of us will remain dry. Highs will begin to head back up starting Saturday, with low-to-mid-80s expected across the area. On Sunday, highs look to peak closer to the upper 80s, and we’ll be flirting with 90° by Monday, as above-normal temperatures are expected heading into much of next week.

Coastal flooding will remain a concern with each high tide cycle through Saturday evening, and then with the evening high tide on Sunday as well. Minor to moderate coastal flooding looks to be probable, with road closures a consideration an hour or two each side of the predicted time of high tide. Expect Coastal Flood Advisories from the National Weather Service.

This weekend’s high tides:

Read more »