The final few days of March 2023 will be generally quiet, weather-wise (at least here in the Lowcountry), as a cold front moves across the area overnight and ushers in a cooler, drier airmass. Wednesday will be much cooler than recent days with highs peaking in the mid-60s. We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds throughout the day as a little lingering low-level moisture hangs around, but that’s about it.
The aforementioned moisture strips out later Wednesday, yielding a brilliantly sunny sky on Thursday. We’ll get off to a chilly start thanks to calm winds and clear skies from the night before with lows in the mid-40s (far from frost or freeze concerns, thankfully). Highs will reach the low 70s. All in all, not a bad day to get outside and take a walk.
Winds go around to the south beginning Thursday and this will yield a warmer Friday. Expect temperatures to peek in the upper 70s under partly cloudy skies. The 18z runs of the models indicate the potential for some showers coming ashore Friday afternoon; we’ll keep an eye on this, but for now, the going forecast is for mostly dry weather as some of you head out to pick up your Bridge Run packets.
Freeze Warnings will become a distant memory by the end of the work week as we warm rapidly into the 80s by Thursday.
Temperatures moderate nicely into the upper 40s Wednesday morning with highs topping out in the low 70s. A coastal trough moving inland might spread a few showers around, but rain amounts should be generally light and most of us should get the day in rain-free.
From there, things get a lot warmer. Thursday starts ~10° warmer than Wednesday did, with lows not dropping far below 60°. Highs soar into the low 80s under mostly sunny skies, with just a few passing clouds from time to time. Friday is largely a copy-and-paste from Thursday, just with slightly warmer temperatures expected. We look to stay in the 80s through the weekend and into early next week.
Welcome to Spring! A Freeze Warning is in effect for inland Berkeley and Dorchester overnight into Tuesday morning, with a risk for patchy frost in other sheltered spots. This will be the last one of these for a little while, though, as a warming trend commences. It will be subtle on Tuesday, with highs running in the mid-60s as opposed to the low 60s — still well below climatology for this point in March. Skies will generally run mostly sunny with a few more clouds in the afternoon.
Northeasterly winds and the new moon will combine to produce tidal flooding during the Tuesday morning commute. Water levels could approach 7.3-7.5′ around 8:34am, which should be enough to close a couple roads in downtown Charleston. Be ready for delays if downtown is in your plans, particularly the west side of the peninsula.
A Freeze Warning is in effect tonight across the Charleston metro area. Protect sensitive plants and bring in your pets tonight. We should stay just above freezing closer to the coast, but some frost can’t be ruled out. Best bet is to err on the side of caution and go ahead and protect that vegetation.
After an unexpectedly cool day in which temperatures did not get out of the 50s for the first time since February 18, we have another rather chilly day ahead for Tuesday despite full sunshine. Air temperatures to start the day will run in the low 40s in the immediate metro area (and cooler than that further inland), but factor in a decent 5-10mph northwest breeze and it’ll feel closer to the mid-30s in the morning.
As the day goes on, freezing levels will drop close to 4,000 feet and occasionally breezy northwest winds will continue to pump cooler air into the area, keeping surface temperatures in the upper 50s at best in the afternoon. This is more in line with early January normals than mid-March. A very dry atmospheric column will preclude anything in the way of cloud cover, so sunshine will be brilliant and unfettered at least, and should make the resulting cool air temperature feel a little better.
Today’s high was 87°, breaking the record of 86° set in 1961 while also being the warmest day of the year so far in 2023. Downtown got in on the record warmth action, too: the high of 84° broke the record of 83° set in 1945 and tied in 1961.
This changes drastically starting Wednesday. Lows in the 60s turn into lows in the mid-40s; highs in the 80s drop off 20°+ to the mid-60s in the wake of a front that is ushering in some much more seasonable — if not slightly below normal — temperatures for this point in the year. Winds may be gusty overnight as the cooler air moves in, and we’ll stay a little breezy through a good bit of Wednesday. The ongoing cool advection will counteract the otherwise mostly sunny skies to yield those mid-60s highs.
February — and meteorological “winter” — will close on an abnormally warm note. Today’s high of 86° at the airport tied the record high first set in 1962. This stretch of record warmth looks to continue as we kick off March and meteorological spring, but there are signs that cooler weather is on the horizon, both this weekend and in the longer term.
After setting a new record high on Tuesday (83°, breaking the record of 82° last set in 2019), we’ll take another shot at the record books on Wednesday as highs look to once again top out in the lower 80s. The NWS forecast explicitly ties the record high of 82° last set in 2018, and it’s certainly plausible we’ll break that record.
Thursday will represent the peak of the warmth before a cold front gets closer on Friday. The record high of 86° on Thursday, while not explicitly forecast to be broken, will still be well within striking distance and has a chance to fall. Friday’s high of 82° will also be in range of the record high of 84°, though that record may be a little tougher to realize with increasing cloud cover ahead of a cold front that will cool things down markedly for Saturday (and bring some rain chances, as well). That cooldown will be short-lived, though, as we head back well above normal for Sunday and beyond.
After reaching a lovely 70° on Valentine’s Day, we will climb even higher into the 70s for Wednesday as southerly flow on the back side of high pressure and ridging aloft turns the heat pump up. We’ll see a little more in the way of cloud cover, but still expect plenty of sunshine.
Thursday turns even warmer as a cold front gets closer and compressional heating starts to come into play a bit more. Expect highs to top out in the low 80s with a mix of sun and clouds. Incredibly, this will not even be close to a record — the record high of 87°, set in 1989, looks to remain solidly intact.
Rain returns to the weather picture on Friday, though unlike the last few weeks, it won’t hang around for the weekend. Expect highs to top out early in the day around 72° before the front and its associated showers arrive in the area. Said front cools us off below normal for Saturday before a little rebound in temperatures for Sunday, but the operative thing here is that the sun will be out for both days this time — quite a rare occurrence lately.
Mother Nature’s Valentine’s Day gift to Charleston is beautiful weather as high pressure remains in control. We’ll start Tuesday in the low 40s before temperatures rebound to around 70° under mostly sunny skies. Dewpoints will run in the low-to-mid-40s, yielding comfortable relative humidity values — overall, should be a nice day to enjoy some lunch outdoors. The only fly in the ointment may be the winds shifting to the south around 10-15 MPH at times. Other than that, though, no cold shoulder this year.
We turn much warmer Wednesday into Thursday as southerly winds continue ahead of a cold front which arrives Friday. Temperatures will jump to around 80° on Wednesday and could exceed 80° on Thursday despite increasing cloud cover. While we could get within striking distance of Wednesday’s record high of 82° set in 1989, we’ll be a far cry from Thursday’s daily record which is 87°, also set in 1989.
A cold front and associated band of showers moves through the area on Friday, limiting highs to the low 70s early in the day and cooling us off pretty quickly in the evening. The good news is that this rain won’t linger — the sun will be back out on Saturday, and a rain-free (albeit much cooler) weekend is expected.
@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.