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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 2024 hurricane season begins

/ June 1, 2024 at 12:30 PM

Welcome to the 2024 hurricane season, everybody. From now through November 30, we’ll keep one eye out on the Atlantic basin for whatever spinny mischief may try to get going. The outlook for this year is for an incredibly busy season thanks to flat-out hot water well into the Atlantic and the expectation that we’ll be in La Niña, which tends to relax shear over the Atlantic and turbocharges the environment for tropical cyclone formation as a result. Of course, the outlook only shows how many storms will probably form; it’s not an indicator of how many of those will make landfall, much less where they may do so. It only takes one storm to make a season memorable for all the wrong reasons, too.

The good news to start the season is that tropical cyclone development isn’t expected for the next seven days. We didn’t even have any preseason activity this year for the first time since 2022. However, as we all know, tropical cyclones can spin up on a dime, so it’s important for us all to be prepared. To paraphrase John Philpot Curran, Thomas Jefferson, and others: the price of living in Charleston is six months of tropical vigilance.

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Weekend forecast: A seasonable start to climatological summer

/ May 31, 2024 at 8:16 PM

We’ve got no major weather concerns for the start of June and climatological summer. Saturday starts on a cooler-than-normal note once again, with lows bottoming out around 60° away from the beaches. Highs climb to the mid-80s with tolerable humidity, though dewpoints shouldn’t dry out as much as they ended up doing on Friday. We’ll see a little bit more in the way of cloud cover, but there’s going to be plenty of sunshine, too.

High pressure shifts offshore Sunday, kicking off a warming trend that’ll have us back in the 90s by early next week. Dewpoints will continue their gradual climb to more traditional early-June levels, though humidity still should remain generally tolerable. We start Sunday in the low 60s one more time, warming to the mid-to-upper 80s in the afternoon. A stray thunderstorm or two will be possible well inland in the afternoon, generally closer to the I-95 corridor, but the vast majority of us stay rain-free.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday & the weekend: Comfortable warmth to welcome June

/ May 30, 2024 at 10:59 PM

We’ll close out May with plenty of sun, temperatures generally near if not slightly below normal (especially in the mornings), and reasonably low humidity. Friday looks to run a little warmer than Thursday did, but the northerly breeze will keep the air on the dry side as dewpoints fall into the low 50s during the height of the afternoon. Expect mostly sunny skies, with just a few passing clouds as moisture remains a little tough to come by.

Saturday will be one more really nice day before a warming trend kicks in beginning Sunday. Temperatures on Saturday will once again bottom out in the low 60s, with highs in the mid-80s in the afternoon. Dewpoints will creep up a couple degrees, but it should still feel plenty comfortable outside as relative humidity values drop below 35% in the afternoon. Dewpoints begin to rebound to more June-like levels on Sunday as high pressure starts to slip offshore. Expect a milder start to Sunday with lows bottoming out in the mid-60s, warming to the mid-80s in the afternoon with a little bit more mugginess in the air as dewpoints return to the 60s. This warming trend continues into next week, with highs returning to the 90s and slight afternoon shower and thunderstorm chances coming along for the ride as well. But first, we have a beautiful weekend to enjoy — so enjoy it!

Thursday: A stretch of less-humid weather begins

/ May 29, 2024 at 8:10 PM

A dry front is getting through tonight, and that will open the door for a really pleasant ending to May. Temperatures start in the low-to-mid-60s, which is a few degrees below normal for May 30. We’ll warm to the mid-80s in the afternoon under mostly sunny skies, right near climatological norms for this point in the year. Dewpoints will mix out to around 50° during the day, which should keep the warmth more on the comfortable side than not.

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Rest of the work week: A little less humid, turning cooler

/ May 28, 2024 at 7:48 PM

Quieter weather looks to generally be in store for the rest of the abbreviated work week as temperatures run on a cooling trend heading toward the weekend (and the end of May). We start Wednesday in the mid-to-upper 60s, warming to around 90° in the afternoon. Yes, still quite warm, but with some drier air aloft mixing dewpoints down to the mid-50s, relative humidity values will be in the 30-45% range. Expect just a few clouds from time to time with no expectation of any seabreeze showers or thunderstorms.

A bit more in the way of cloud cover arrives Thursday into Friday as a weak front approaches. Thursday’s highs run in the mid-to-upper 80s, while Friday’s highs run solidly in the mid-80s. Showers don’t appear likely, but can’t be totally ruled out with the frontal passage later Thursday into Friday. Dewpoints remain reasonably tame, though slightly cooler temperatures will elevate the relative humidity a little bit. All in all, not a bad end to May (and climatological spring).

Rest of the work week: Heat and humidity return

/ May 21, 2024 at 10:21 PM

The forecast for the rest of the work week is fairly straightforward: Partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies with temperatures gradually getting warmer (with dewpoints unfortunately following suit) as time goes on. Wednesday will feature one more cool start in the low 60s before warming to the mid-to-upper 80s in the afternoon. Dewpoints will mix out to the low 60s, so it won’t feel too bad. They’ll start to climb into the upper 60s on Thursday, though, as highs reach 90° in the afternoon. With the additional humidity, expect heat indices to run a few degrees warmer. Friday continues the warming trend, with highs once again in the low 90s and dewpoints creeping up even further to the 70° mark making for another warm and muggy day.

While the rest of the work week looks to remain rain-free, slight shower and thunderstorm chances will figure into the forecast as we head into the Memorial Day weekend. It doesn’t look like a rainout, but you’ll want to have indoor backup plans in case thunderstorms threaten.

Finally, a programming note: I’m taking the next few days off for some much-needed downtime. Posts will be scattershot at best. As always, the latest NWS forecast is on the chswx.com homepage. See y’all next week!

Tuesday: One more comfortably warm day before the heat rebuilds

/ May 20, 2024 at 10:32 PM

We have another nice day ahead Tuesday. We’ll start the day in the low 60s once again, with highs topping out in the low-to-mid-80s under mostly sunny skies. It’ll be a touch breezy, with winds out of the northeast once again around 10 MPH, but this is what’s keeping us a little on the cooler side, so we’ll take it.

The only weather concern will be the risk for water levels peaking in minor flood stage again with the Tuesday evening high tide. Minor coastal flooding looks probable between 7-9 PM with water levels peaking around 7.1’. It’ll be enough to cover the more vulnerable roads once again with salt water, but it won’t be a widespread issue.

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The week ahead: Generally quiet and turning warmer

/ May 19, 2024 at 11:57 PM

The weather turns quiet to start the new work week, and we’ll even enjoy slightly lower temperatures and a little less humidity for at least a couple days, too! Monday looks particularly nice with lows in the mid-60s warming to highs in the low 80s in the afternoon under mostly sunny skies. A warming trend commences thereafter, with highs in the mid-80s Tuesday followed by upper 80s Wednesday. 90s return on Thursday, and we stay around there for Friday and the weekend as well…alas, with a bit more summertime humidity in play, too.

Rain chances are quiet through Thursday as ridging aloft rules the roost. This ridging will give way to a few disturbances starting Friday and lasting into the weekend, which will bring some shower and thunderstorm chances primarily in the afternoons. There’s no washouts anywhere that we can see, though — just be sure to have a secondary indoor plan to go along with your outdoor plans as we head into the Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday: Off and on rain could bring pockets of flooding

/ May 18, 2024 at 11:31 PM

Another round of showers and thunderstorms is expected on Sunday. A stalled cold front will cut down on the surface-based instability, so severe weather is not expected, but there’s still quite a bit of moisture around and a mid-level trough hanging right overhead. This will be enough to kick up more showers and thunderstorms, with heavy rain the main concern. The NWS forecast is for generally around 1-2” of rain tomorrow, with isolated spots receiving upwards of 3-4” in the heaviest rains. A flooding threat could result, causing travel to become treacherous at times. We’ll want to keep an eye on this throughout the day — stay tuned.

Temperatures behind the front will top out just around 80° after a muggy start in the upper 60s. Highs will remain tempered by ongoing showers and thunderstorms as well. Stay dry!

Friday & the weekend: Back into an unsettled period

/ May 16, 2024 at 11:39 PM

After a warm but quiet day Thursday, unsettled weather starts to work back into the area beginning Friday and continuing over the weekend.

We start Friday in the upper 60s to around 70°, warmer toward the beaches. We should see highs peak in the mid-to-upper 80s despite increasing cloud cover ahead of a disturbance that’ll bring some slight rain chances into the area on Friday evening into the overnight. It is also possible we may see a stray shower or storm midday as a decaying thunderstorm complex moves across the area. We’ll monitor precipitation trends throughout the day; keep rain gear handy just in case.

Shower and thunderstorm chances tick up for Saturday. It doesn’t look like an all-day rainout, but there will be periods of unsettled weather throughout the day, so be on guard for outdoor activities having to come indoors due to lightning and maybe even a strong to severe storm or two with damaging wind gusts the main concern. Temperatures will stay warm and muggy: Expect lows in the low 70s to yield to highs in the mid-to-upper 80s once again in the afternoon.

A front gets through late Saturday, and that leaves us with a slightly cooler Sunday with highs reaching just the low-to-mid-80s. However, periods of showers and thunderstorms will still be possible, and a couple of those could still be on the strong side. Keep rain plans front-of-mind for your Sunday as well.