Spring is back for a few more days — gorgeous on this Saturday with highs only to top out around 80 away from the coast. A few thunderstorms will be possible Sunday afternoon and evening as a disturbance aloft swings through, then back to dry weather for much of next week as ridging builds in. We’ll get gradually warmer; NWS has us approaching 90 again by the end of next week.
The risk for severe weather is increasing over the Charleston area. A tornado watch may be needed later this morning. Stay weather-aware and have a few reliable ways to get warnings.
Another very warm day for late April is upon us with temperatures in the upper 80s expected inland; a couple 90 degree readings wouldn’t be far-fetched either. Closer to the coast, the cooler Atlantic waters will keep temperatures moderated into the upper 70s to low 80s. The seabreeze may kick off a storm or two as well, but most will stay dry. All in all, today will likely be more reminiscent of late May than late April.
This week looks pretty unsettled, with shower and thunderstorm chances ramping up Tuesday-Thursday. We all need to pay attention to Wednesday (and if you’re further inland, Tuesday as well) for the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms. It’s not a bad idea to review your severe weather plan — it is Spring, after all — and make sure your reliable weather sources (NOAA Weather Radio, smartphone app of choice, etc.) are in good working order. More on this later this evening…
Flash Flood Warning is no longer in effect for Charleston. Ponding of water may be a concern for a while yet, though.
The live blog is now closed, but if you’re interested in earlier reporting, continue on…
This morning’s weather data is lending increased confidence to a risk for isolated severe thunderstorms later this afternoon and evening. Damaging straight-line winds will be the main concern, though isolated tornadoes are not out of the question. NWS will have an even better idea once our morning weather balloon is away.
Stay weather-aware this afternoon and be on the lookout for potential severe weather watches or warnings if they are required (gut feeling is that we could be put under a watch at some point later this morning or in the early afternoon).
Remember, social media is great, but should be a supplement to a balanced severe weather information diet. NOAA Weather Radio and these additional tools will help keep you in the loop on this and any other severe weather day.
My emphasis added…
…PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY TUESDAY…
TEMPERATURES AROUND FREEZING WILL SETTLE INTO AREAS NORTH OF
INTERSTATE 16 AND AWAY FROM THE IMMEDIATE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST
OVERNIGHT INTO EARLY TUESDAY. AS A RESULT…DRIZZLE COULD BEGIN TO
FREEZE ON SOME ELEVATED SURFACES.
DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF EVAPORATION ENHANCED BY PERSISTENT
WINDS…THE EXPECTED LIGHT AND SPOTTY NATURE OF ANY DRIZZLE AND
THE LINGERING EFFECTS OF TEMPERATURES IN THE 70S SUNDAY AND
MONDAY…DRIZZLE IS NOT EXPECTED TO FREEZE ON ROADS AND SHOULD
NOT IMPACT TRAVEL. VERY LIGHT ICE ACCUMULATION…IF ANY…WOULD
BE LIMITED TO TREE BRANCHES AND OTHER SURFACES ABOVE THE GROUND.
IF MORE SUSTAINED FREEZING DRIZZLE OR LIGHT FREEZING RAIN
DEVELOPS…THERE IS A VERY LOW PROBABILITY FOR SLICK SPOTS
ON SOME BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES LATE TONIGHT INTO EARLY TUESDAY.
HOWEVER…EVEN IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO THE IMPACT OF ANY ICE
ACCUMULATION OVERNIGHT WOULD NOT COMPARE WITH THE IMPACT OF
THE ICE STORMS THAT OCCURRED IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST FORECASTS AND INFORMATION FROM
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON.
Will be a conversational glaze at worst, it looks like. School will be open, the Ravenel will be open…Charleston will be open for business tomorrow. Proceed normally.
NWS forecasting a high of 77 today before major post-frontal changes tonight — Freeze Watches are up for the coastal counties, while Freeze Warnings are up for the inland counties. (The NWS has resumed its frost/freeze program with the growing season back underway.)
Something to watch: Small potential for freezing drizzle/light freezing rain tonight particularly inland. Don’t be shocked to see a Freezing Rain Advisory come out if these chances improve, but also don’t expect to see many issues from this given our expected high 70s today and the relatively short duration of any freezing precipitation — as it stands right now, this won’t be a “shut it all down” event.
Tomorrow’s NWS-forecasted high of 43 is 34 degrees cooler than what’s expected today. Temperatures moderate somewhat starting Tuesday but highs in the mid-50s are this week; at times highs will run as many as 10-15 degrees below normal for early March (upper 60s are the typical highs).
All yesterday’s cold front did was knock us from the 80s to the upper 60s — and as far as cold fronts go this winter, that’s A-OK. Great weekend ahead with passing clouds (but plenty of sunshine) and temperatures still slightly above normal in the afternoons.
Unfortunately, winter continues to rage on and we could see our next Arctic blast by mid-week. More details on that later today or tomorrow. In the meantime…get out and enjoy!
After tying the record high of 83 (first set in 1956) today, we could get close to tomorrow’s record of 82 inland. Closer to the coast, we’ll stay firmly in the 70s. (Beaches may yet be cooler thanks to very chilly water temperatures.) A slightly more southerly wind will draw in some cooler air from the ocean and perhaps keep temperatures down a notch over today — time will tell. Sensible weather will remain generally tranquil with perhaps some passing clouds; coastal areas could contend with some sea fog coming ashore at times.
Friday looks to be a different story; a cold front with showers and potentially some gusty thunderstorms associated with it looks timed to get through during the early-to-mid-afternoon hours. That will keep max temperatures down into the mid-70s before the front gets through. A few storms could produce some strong winds but widespread severe weather is not looking likely. Will update if that changes.
Many felt a shallow 4.1 magnitude earthquake about 7 miles from Edgefield, SC around 10:23 PM. Reports of the quake have been felt as far south as Claxton, GA and Hilton Head Island according to the National Weather Service and USGS:
While I did not personally feel the quake, many of you stepped up immediately to make a report. The first report I got was from St. George:
— Tim Landis (@ORM33) February 15, 2014
Then the reports rolled in from all over:
— Dr Gamecock (@DrGamecock) February 15, 2014
@chswx felt it in Summerville
— Jeremy Dunlap (@JeremyBDunlap) February 15, 2014
@chswx Yes, in downtown Charleston. Sitting on couch, felt a rocking motion that lasted a few seconds
— Jamie Adkins (@Canamjam) February 15, 2014
@chswx felt It in summerville around 2224
— Bree (@bree4bryce) February 15, 2014
@chswx yes in north charleston
— Heather (@chaschick02) February 15, 2014
@chswx Yep, felt a shimmy downtown, south of MUSC area. WOO!
— Distil Union (@DistilUnion) February 15, 2014
@chswx yeah..in mt pleasant..felt the window rattle
— oliver noodle (@olivernoodle) February 15, 2014
— Jo Anne Richardson (@joarichardson) February 15, 2014
@chswx in Hanahan about 10 seconds at 10:24pm. Moved some picture frames on shelves…about it
— Chip Maglione (@ChipMaglione) February 15, 2014
Fortunately, there are no reports of major damage, though a few pictures have circulated of cracks in floors and drywall in the Upstate. Rumors that the quake damaged a water tower in Augusta, GA are inaccurate as the water tower was conducting a scheduled release from its overflow valve:
Disaster Coordinator Mie Lucas: "They have someone on the tower. The water is coming out of the overflow valve and the tower is safe."
— WRDW-TV News 12 (@WRDW) February 15, 2014
We are no strangers to earthquakes here in Charleston with the Summerville fault kicking off occasional tremors (this is the 13th earthquake in the past year for SC). However, quakes centered in the central Savannah River area (CSRA for short) are exceedingly rare:
— Dave Williams (@LCWxDave) February 15, 2014
To learn more about the Charleston area’s earthquake history, I highly recommend scearthquakes.com, which has a lot of information about the catastrophic 1886 quake and the seismic zone near Summerville. The USGS has also compiled many useful links about SC earthquakes as well.
If you felt tonight’s quake, please take a moment and report it to USGS — this helps their data collection immensely, especially in an area that doesn’t feel a lot of quakes.