2020 looks to hand off to 2021 in the fashion we would expect from this year — a bit on the warm and stormy side — as a cold front approaches the area from the west.
The last few days of the year will get progressively warmer, with 70s back in the picture for New Year’s Eve. Rain chances also return beginning Wednesday, with a shower or two possible as a coastal trough moves inland in response to high pressure to the northeast breaking down and moving out. Rain chances improve for Thursday along with a noticeable jump in temperatures (70s!) as warm and moist air overspreads the area ahead of our next storm system.
Overall, if you’ve got things to do outdoors, Tuesday’s your best day to for-sure avoid rainfall. As for New Year’s Eve, I’m not expecting a washout for fireworks displays as of now, but the devil is in the details. Stay tuned.
Get your sweaters ready — Wednesday is going to be a chilly one. A dry cold front featuring a reinforcing shot of cold air will swing through the area tonight. By tomorrow morning, winds will be back out of the north and a little breezy — lows in the low 40s may feel closer to the mid-30s when factoring the wind in. Despite full sunshine, temperatures will only rise into the mid-50s given continued cold advection into the area.
As high pressure slips overhead Wednesday night, winds will calm and skies will remain clear, allowing for excellent radiational cooling conditions. We may be contending with some frost as we get into overnight Wednesday/early Thursday morning, especially in the inland tier of counties. Keep an ear out for a possible Frost Advisory from the National Weather Service, and be ready to ensure plants, pets, and people are protected. (Pipes will be okay — not expecting a freeze just yet.)
What’s clear about Monday is that, at some point, there will be a squall line with strong thunderstorms coming through the area. These storms will be capable of producing wind damage and could spawn a tornado or two along the leading edge of the line.
The degree to which this threat will materialize is going to be highly dependent on timing, and that’s where it gets tricky — but I’ll do my best to demystify it.
While much of the nation will close October out with fairly cold temperatures, a sliver of warmth will hug the East Coast, keeping temperatures closer to late September/early October normals for the work week. Upper-level disturbances will keep the weather rather unsettled as well, with rain chances Tuesday-Friday before a cold front ushers fall back into the picture for the weekend.
Another cold front will be moving through the area on Tuesday, bringing along some more fall-like weather for Wednesday and beyond. Before it passes, though, we’ll see temperatures spike into the mid-80s with scattered thunderstorms in the area. A few thunderstorms could produce strong, gusty winds in the late afternoon/early evening hours. Be alert to possible warnings.
The front is expected to clear the area around sunset or a little later. Temperatures will cool down nicely behind said front, bottoming out in the low 50s for Wednesday morning.
After the wettest day since Dorian, a ridge of high pressure will usher in fall weather for a few days, with the potential for the first 40° readings of the season Thursday and Friday mornings. Then, a slug of tropical moisture will bring in another solid rain chance late this weekend into next week.
Sunday will finish with a little more warmth than we’ve had the last couple days as high pressure slips offshore and a front stalls out nearby. Clouds will be on the increase throughout the day, but rainfall is expected to hold off until overnight. Highs will top out in the mid-80s; with dewpoints in the 60s, this will feel a little warmer and more humid than we felt on Saturday.
The second half of 2019 will get off to a fairly hot start, with heat indices running in the low 100s each afternoon. Scattered thunderstorms will provide relief, particularly later in the week. (Must be July in Charleston.)
We will make another run at the century mark today, with a decent chance of at least tying the all-time May high temperature record set yesterday (100°). In fact, this morning’s NWS forecast has the airport breaking that record once again today. While there is no Heat Advisory today as heat indices will remain below 105° (pre-July 1 threshold), it will still be plenty hot (even at the beaches, where low 90s are possible) and you should still keep heat safety precautions in mind when observing Memorial Day today.
Today is day one of a potentially long-duration, early-season heat wave that will continue into at least next week. Record heat is forecast today, with a high of 98° expected. If this verifies, this would break the record of 97° set in 1953. Air conditioning is best today (and for the next several days), but if you must be outside, take frequent breaks, drink lots of water, and seek shade regularly.
@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.