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: Heat, humidity, with thunderstorms mixed in

/ July 26, 2020 at 7:41 PM

We continue our midsummer heat, humidity, and thunderstorm chances as we close out July and head into August. Temperatures will continue to run in the low 90s each day; heat indices will top out in the low to mid-100s in the afternoons before the onset of thunderstorms. After more isolated coverage on Monday, expect an uptick for much of the rest of the week with a little upper-level support getting in on the action. Some of you who have been on the “miss” side of the “hit-or-miss” thunderstorms these past few days will have plenty of chances to get a free lawn watering in the upcoming week!

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The monotony of July: Hot, humid, with a chance of afternoon storms

/ July 19, 2020 at 11:07 PM

Stop me if you’ve heard it: We’ll see highs in the 90s, heat indices in the 100s, and a chance of thunderstorms pretty much every afternoon along and inland of the seabreeze. We might see a little uptick in shower and storm activity as we head toward the weekend as models suggest a little mid-level energy trying to work its way in, but we’ll keep an eye on this trend. Stay cool and masked up!

Standard July fare this week with 90s and thunderstorms

/ July 12, 2020 at 7:21 PM

We will find ourselves firmly in a slightly unsettled summertime pattern for much of the week. Highs will top out in the low to mid-90s each day, with heat indices in the low to mid-100s in the afternoons. Showers and thunderstorms will be possible each day. It won’t rain all the time, and you probably won’t see rain every day, either. Mind the heat — take frequent breaks in the afternoon, get plenty of fluids, and seek out air conditioning when you can. Don’t forget to wear a mask!

Low pressure to bring more rain to the Lowcountry this week

/ July 5, 2020 at 10:58 PM

We’ve got a soggy, stormy start to the week in store as a low pressure system moves through the Gulf Coast states and strafes our coastline. We’re already starting to see some shower activity from this storm system this evening, and more is expected through at least Wednesday night, if not beyond.

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Unsettled, occasionally rough, weather possible this week

/ June 28, 2020 at 10:39 PM

We’ve got a fairly active week of weather ahead as we move toward Independence Day this weekend. First off, the warmth: Temperatures will push the mid-90s on Monday and Tuesday, and the humidity will push heat indices well into the 100s. Could scrape 105° at times, so be sure that you are hydrating well and taking plenty of breaks if you’re outdoors.

Thunderstorms will feature prominently in the forecast this week as we remain in northwest flow aloft Monday and Tuesday. This will allow thunderstorm complexes to move into the area from the northwest, potentially packing strong winds and heavy rain. Thereafter, a trough of low pressure aloft and at the surface will keep us in a fairly unsettled pattern, with showers and thunderstorms possible each afternoon with peak heating. This pattern may last into the weekend, so be thinking about indoor alternatives to your July 4 plans now, just in case. Will keep an eye on it to see how things evolve throughout the week. Stay tuned.

A drier, warmer weekend lies ahead

/ June 25, 2020 at 10:20 PM

High pressure ridging overhead is going to keep thunderstorm chances low and temperatures up for Friday and the weekend. Couple that with a side of Saharan dust advecting in from the southwest and we’ll have a few hot, hazy, and humid days ahead. In fact, during the afternoons, heat indices may approach the upper 90s to around 100 at times, so be sure you’re getting hydration if you are outdoors. A stray thunderstorm or two will be possible Friday and Saturday afternoon, with a tighter lid on potential storms for Sunday (as things stand right now, anyway).

Sunsets could be particularly colorful Saturday and Sunday night, as NASA dust modeling suggests peak Saharan dust activity around these times. It remains to be seen what, if any, air quality impacts there will be, but we’ll want to keep an eye on that for sensitive groups, especially with our recent acceleration in coronavirus cases aggravating respiratory matters.

Summer in full effect this week

/ June 21, 2020 at 8:58 PM

The solstice must have kicked something into alignment, because this week fits perfectly into the normal summertime routine with temperatures running in the upper 80s to low 90s each day and a chance of thunderstorms each afternoon. Could see some additional coverage of showers and storms Wednesday and Thursday, but other than that, it’ll be a typical Charleston summer setup. If you’ve got outdoor plans, just keep an eye on the weather each afternoon. When thunder roars, go indoors!

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A stretch of cool for the history books, but summer will return

/ June 17, 2020 at 9:45 PM
National surface analysis with satellite overlay at 2PM June 17, 2020.

We have been in quite the cool spell this week as an upper-level low pressure system in concert with a stalled front have kept clouds and showers in the forecast. The cool temperatures have been rather remarkable for June, with legitimate hoodie weather the past couple days as several record low maximum temperatures were achieved both at Charleston International Airport and downtown Charleston. Summer’s coming back, though…

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Lingering coastal storm keeps us cool, rainy for a couple more days

/ June 14, 2020 at 9:03 PM

It sure has been cool and occasionally rainy over the last few days! Today’s high only made it to 77° at the airport, which barring an unforecasted heating episode will be a new record low maximum temperature for the date. The previous record low max for June 14 was 78° set in 1939. This cool pattern is thanks to an upper low aloft and a wedge of high pressure at the surface. Moisture riding atop the wedge is keeping cloud cover and the occasional showers around, and this will continue for a couple more days before the pattern turns more summer-like by the end of the week.

Periods of heavy rain will continue for much of Monday before winding down in the evening. Once again, temperatures will run well below normal (upper 70s) thanks to cloud cover and rain-cooled air. While we’ll have less rain on Tuesday, we will have one more day of cool temperatures with continued cloud cover and northerly winds on the back side of a coastal low. Before it’s all said and done, another 1-3″ of rain may have fallen across the area in what has been a wet year — we have a 6.2″ surplus of rain at the airport.

As we get into mid-week, we’ll begin to see the upper low finally take leave of the area, allowing the surface low to go with it. Showers will continue to be in the forecast, but temperatures will moderate into the lower 80s. By the end of the week and into the weekend, expect temperatures to head back into the upper 80s and lower 90s with the typical afternoon thunderstorm regime we all know and love during summers in Charleston.

The week ahead: Warm, humid, unsettled

/ June 7, 2020 at 10:23 PM

June in Charleston is typically characterized by afternoon thunderstorms and highs in the upper 80s, and this week will not disappoint in either department. We’re caught between Atlantic high pressure and the broad circulation of Tropical Storm Cristobal, putting us within a corridor of deep moisture which will help drive scattered showers and thunderstorms each afternoon to start the week. All the while, a stalled frontal boundary will be hanging around to our north, meandering for the next several days and acting as another focal point for showers and storms. As we get into the weekend, another front approaches. As we so often see in the warm season, though, the front looks to have a hard time getting through the area, keeping us in the soup with scattered afternoon thunderstorms through Sunday.