Charleston is under the gun for potentially strong to severe thunderstorms today as a strong cold front, aided by vigorous winds aloft, approaches the area.
Expect a squall line with damaging wind gusts, isolated embedded tornadoes, and hail to come through the area later this afternoon into early evening. Timing for this event will be a little later in the afternoon; suspect anytime after 2PM will be tricky if thunderstorms do not erupt ahead of the line. This will almost certainly have impacts on the evening commute, particularly for those of you trying to get a head start on Easter travel.
Friday is an important day to watch in the weather department as there is good model agreement that a storm system will be affecting the area during the day, driving a squall line into the area by afternoon. Gusty winds, hail, coastal flooding, heavy rain, and perhaps even a tornado will be possible. Let’s take a look at some of the issues we may encounter.
Spring has come into full swing here in the Lowcountry. After what was a fortunate severe weather non-event on Sunday, we had a much cooler and less humid Monday with highs topping out around 74° under plenty of sunshine. We get a repeat of that today as high pressure maintains control over our weather today through Thursday. Our next storm threat comes Friday, and may bring some strong winds to the area. Let’s dive in…
We have a potentially busy weather day in store today as a strong cold front — which has been responsible for several strong, damaging tornadoes in Texas and Mississippi — cuts its way across the Southeast toward our area tonight.
Today’s pattern is somewhat reminiscent of August (thankfully not from a temperature perspective!). High pressure offshore will pump moisture into the area; I can’t rule out some scattered showers and storms this morning as some moisture convergence works its way northward.
This afternoon, the focus for showers and thunderstorms will shift inland with the seabreeze. No severe weather is expected but we could wring out a few tenths of an inch of rain in spots — not that we’re complaining, as we still need the rain.
Temperatures will top out in the upper 70s in the metro area; should see some lower 80s a little further inland before the seabreeze gets there.
More on another busy Charleston weekend (High Water Fest!) on the blog later today.
Today’s forecast calls for an overall nice, warm mid-April day with temperatures in the upper 70s to around 80 this afternoon away from the locally cooler coastline, which will see highs suppressed into the low-to-mid-70s with a decent seabreeze.
Don’t be surprised if we’re talking about showers later tonight as surface high pressure begins to pull away, allowing a coastal trough to drift ashore. Latest guidance this morning suggests a shower chance as early as 8PM, but it’s looking a little more likely starting around 10-11 PM. Rainfall amounts don’t look particularly heinous, but if you have late night plans, you’ll want to keep rain gear within reach just in case.
Be weather-aware today as a few thunderstorms could produce damaging winds and large hail this afternoon. A stacked low pressure system will continue its approach to the Charleston area this morning. As it gets closer, some drier air may filter in and break up the cloud cover we’re seeing, improving instability. The forcing from the low and some upper-level energy will allow for thunderstorms to develop this afternoon (think 1-2 PM). The strongest storms could bring some trees down and produce hail the size of quarters.
Thunderstorms will be possible well into the evening, but the window for severe weather appears to be 2PM to 8PM.
Be sure you can hear weather warnings this afternoon. NOAA Weather Radio and smartphone apps from local television stations are a great way to go about this.
A period of unsettled weather begins today and will last through the weekend. No washouts in store, but be ready for scattered showers and even some thunderstorms. With a lot going on outside this weekend, you’ll want to stay weather-aware.
High pressure will stay in control of our weather for one more day ahead of an upper disturbance and cold front. Highs will moderate to the mid-70s under southerly flow on the western edge of the high pressure system. Rain chances look to hold off until early Friday morning. Enjoy the day! Look for more details on Bridge Run and Flowertown weekend later today.
@chswx is community-supported, hype-averse weather information, preparedness tips, and alerts for the Charleston, SC Tri-County area (Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester counties) by Jared Smith.