It’s been a while since there’s been much to report here — we’ve had a really dry fall so far. Despite continuing to run a nearly 7″ surplus for rain for the year overall (thanks to our very soggy spring and summer), we are actually about 3 1/2″ below normal since September 1. (Source: National Weather Service Charleston, SC climate data)
A strong cold front is going to help put a dent in that deficit a little bit; expect thunderstorms to develop starting Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service notes that these storms could be capable of damaging winds and perhaps an isolated tornado or two depending on how warm things get ahead of the front. It’s important to keep in mind that it is not unusual to be talking severe storms in late October/early November, so be sure to consult reliable weather sources periodically tomorrow. Outside of thunderstorms, occasional gusts of 20-25 mph can be expected.
Rain should clear the area by Saturday morning; we should salvage a pretty nice afternoon of mid-70s behind the front. High pressure will build back in with a cooler airmass along with it — don’t expect to escape the mid-60s on Sunday!
Don’t forget that Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday at 2am; we’ll fall back and regain the hour of sleep we lost in spring.
Tropical Storm Karen has formed; winds are 60 MPH and it’s moving NNW at 14 MPH. It’s located near the Yucatan Peninsula (roughly 500 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi per the Hurricane Center’s fix).
While the brunt of the storm will certainly be felt along the Gulf Coast, it’s not inconceivable that some residual effects may be felt in the Charleston area early next week, particularly if the storm leans toward the eastern side of the track forecast. Time will tell — my best advice is to keep an eye to the forecast especially given disagreement in the computer model solutions.
Hurricane season is not over yet. At a minimum, it seems likely that our next tropical depression (if not Tropical Storm Karen) will form near the Yucatan Peninsula very soon and track up toward the Gulf Coast by the weekend. Exact specifics are not something I can get into yet with any confidence, but I will say that if you have interests along the Gulf Coast this weekend into next week, it’s something to watch. Depending on the track, it is conceivable we could get some rain out of this in Charleston Sunday into Monday, but there is a pretty wide spread of solutions right now.
Follow @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter for advisory-by-advisory breakdown straight from the National Hurricane Center; @NWSCharlestonSC will have the best official information on local impacts (if any), and as always, I’ll be tweeting relevant, breaking Charleston-specific weather info over on @chswx.