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.

The week ahead: Unapologetically, 100% June

/ June 6, 2021 at 9:50 PM

We’re getting into “copy-paste season,” when the summertime weather pattern is such that you’ll be pretty much on point with upper 80s to low 90s and a 20% chance of storms each afternoon. Of course, much more science goes into the forecast than that, but it goes to show just how static the pattern looks to be for the next few days. As is customary in summer, showers and thunderstorms will be isolated to scattered in nature. It will not rain everywhere, and it will not rain all day. It will be impossible to say with much certainty where storms will form, and if we are lucky to get clues as to where thunderstorms may initiate, we won’t have a lot of lead time.

Temperatures will start around normal before creeping up into the 90s by the weekend. Combined with humidity, that may yield our first 100°+ heat indices of the season, so that’s something you’ll want to plan for if you have outdoor activities scheduled.

Welcome to summer, folks. (Meteorological summer started on June 1; the summer solstice will take place on June 20.)

Rest of tonight: Calming down after a soggy day for Goose Creek

/ June 5, 2021 at 6:46 PM

It’s been another rough day of precipitation. Last night, McClellanville and then Downtown Charleston took the brunt of it, and today it was the Goose Creek area. Rain gauges in the Crowfield Plantation/College Park area recorded 4-6″ of rain in just about two hours as strong to severe thunderstorms (which dropped quarter-size hail on Goose Creek) essentially parked themselves until they gusted out.

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Typical summer day ahead with scattered afternoon storms

/ at 8:27 AM

It must be June: Scattered showers and thunderstorms return to today’s forecast with temperatures topping out in the mid-to-upper 80s. Today’s storms look to kick off along the seabreeze perhaps as early as 1-2 PM, with the likeliest corridor of heavy rain to remain between I-95 and US-17. A couple storms could briefly turn severe with wet microbursts the primary concern, particularly where outflow boundaries intersect. So far, overnight model data do not favor a repeat of last night’s deluge in Downtown Charleston, but we will need to see how things ultimately evolve this afternoon. Keep rain gear handy and be ready to move outdoor activities indoors — in other words, pretty much standard for this time of year.

Friday & the weekend: Staying somewhat unsettled

/ June 3, 2021 at 10:29 PM

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to factor in prominently in the forecast over the next few days, with periods of heavy rain possible especially Friday and Saturday. A storm or two may be able to produce a wet microburst, but other than that, no severe weather is expected. Storm motions will be watched closely for any training of heavy rain, and we’ll also keep an eye on tides in case radar trends show heavy rain approaching downtown. We’ll begin to see a downtick in storm coverage as we get into Sunday, when high pressure nudges back in a little bit, but we’ll still see more typical-for-June afternoon shower and storm chances along the seabreeze. It won’t rain all day, and it won’t rain all the time — just ensure you have a backup plan for your outdoor activities if and when it does rain.

The one benefit to these storms is that it’ll help keep temperatures down to around normal values for early June, with highs in the mid-80s. Even still, dewpoints around 70-72° will keep these highs feeling closer to the low to mid-90s, but at least it won’t be hotter with the same humidity.

Better chances of rain for many of us on Thursday

/ June 2, 2021 at 8:29 PM

Scattered showers and thunderstorms return to the weather picture on Thursday. We should see a little greater coverage of storms than we saw today given weakening high pressure at the surface and even more robust moisture in place. Temperatures once again will only top out in the mid-80s with showers and storms in the area after a mild start in the 70s. Convective temperatures look fairly low — model soundings generally suggest around 80° — so we should see showers begin to initiate within 2-3 hours of sunrise. Storm motions will be inland, and we should see a break in the rain closer to the coast in the late afternoon/early evening hours as the seabreeze makes its westward progression. With any luck, we’ll get more much-needed rainfall across even more of the area than we saw today.

Scattered showers and storms possible Wednesday

/ June 1, 2021 at 10:11 PM

We’ll have more chances for beneficial rainfall tomorrow across the Lowcountry as scattered showers and even a few thunderstorms will be possible for much of the day. Onshore flow and storms in the area will keep high temperatures down into the low 80s. No severe weather is expected, just more much-needed rain. Not everyone will see rain, and it won’t rain all the time. If you miss out tomorrow, rain chances continue to head up as we get into Thursday and Friday, so chances are good you’ll see something as the pattern turns wetter across the area.

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Hurricane season begins anew in the Atlantic basin

/ at 6:30 AM

Well, friends, it’s that time of year again: The Atlantic hurricane season begins today and runs through November 30. Seasonal forecasters from Colorado State University and NOAA are calling for another above-average season when considering continued warm sea surface temperatures and ENSO-neutral conditions (read: no La Niña nor El Niño is expected). While a repeat of the sheer volume of the 2020 hurricane season is unlikely, it still looks to be busy out there.

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Rest of the work week: An increasingly rainy start to meteorological summer

/ May 31, 2021 at 8:48 PM

We’ll get June off to an increasingly rainy start as the dry high pressure which brought us two incredible days this weekend begins to break down. Expect to get much of Tuesday in rain-free, but a few showers will be possible in the afternoon and evening hours as a coastal trough begins to sharpen nearby and moisture begins to peek ashore. As we get into Wednesday, more moisture will overspread the area and shower and storm coverage will kick up a little bit. We’ll see this pattern persist into Thursday and Friday, with afternoon showers and storms becoming more likely each day, bringing some more much-needed rainfall to the area. If you didn’t get much with Saturday evening’s activity, you’ll more likely than not have some measurable rainfall by the end of the week.

High temperatures will remain at or ever-so-slightly below normal through the work week thanks to onshore flow and expected afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Lows will be creeping back toward 70° with the increasingly humid airmass in place. With June 1 marking the beginning of meteorological summer, it will be as if the humidity will be right on cue.

Picture-perfect Memorial Day ahead

/ May 30, 2021 at 9:45 PM

We will commemorate Memorial Day and close out May with picture-perfect weather. Lows will run 5-10° below normal away from the immediate coast, warming nicely into the low 80s under mostly sunny skies as high pressure remains in control over the Southeast. Onshore flow will keep temperatures cooler closer to the coast, with upper 70s likely as high as we get there. Humidity will be comfortable with dewpoints in the mid-50s, too. As we know, this is increasingly rare air for this time of year, so be sure to take advantage as the rest of the work week turns a little warmer and increasingly unsettled.

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A few storms on Saturday, but the rest of the long weekend looks great

/ May 28, 2021 at 10:53 PM

We’ll get off to a warm, humid, and perhaps a stormy start to the Memorial Day weekend, but a late-season cold front will make the weather very pleasant for Sunday and Monday.

A cold front, which as of publish time was draped over the Mid-South from Kentucky southward through Tennessee and far northwest Mississippi, will be advancing eastward toward the coast on Saturday. Atmospheric moisture will surge ahead of the front, providing a more hospitable atmosphere for afternoon showers and thunderstorms than we have seen in the past week or so. Temperatures will top out around 90° before scattered storms kick in ahead of the front. Brief downpours will be possible, but no severe weather is expected. (In fact, not everyone may even get rain.)

The front will get through overnight Saturday into early Sunday morning, ushering in a cooler and drier airmass. We’ll start Sunday about 10° cooler than we started Saturday, with lows in the low 60s away from the locally warmer coast. Highs will top out in the low 80s, a little below normal for late May, and will feel pretty great after a week of 90s. This comfortable warmth continues into Monday with a little bit more blue sky to boot. Overall, not too bad — we need the rain, and it’s awfully nice to enter June in the mid-80s rather than the upper 90s!