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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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October 15, 2018 - October 21, 2018


With high pressure positioned over the Atlantic, unseasonably warm weather with above-normal temperatures started the new week.

On Monday, October 15, low temperatures across the state at many National Weather Service (NWS) stations were in the mid-50’s in the Upstate to the mid-60’s near the coast. The station at Caesars Head reported a low of 48 degrees. By the late afternoon, high temperatures in the state were in the mid-80’s, with some Midlands and coastal stations pushing near 90 degrees. The maximum temperature of 87 degrees at the Charleston station tied the previous record set back in 1985. However, a few stations in the Upstate did not break the 70-degree mark for high temperatures, including the station at Ninety-Nine Islands, which measured a high temperature of only 68 degrees, 5 degrees below the normal value of 73 for October. During the evening hours on October 15, a weak cold front began to push through the Upstate and eventually stalled near the Interstate 85 corridor. Ahead of the front, high temperatures on October 16 were more than 10 degrees warmer than normal, as many stations observed temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80's. The NWS station at the Charleston International Airport measured a maximum temperature of 90 degrees, which broke the previous record high temperature of 87 degrees from 1942. The Florence Airport station also broke the daily record of 87 degrees, set back in 1989, with a maximum temperature of 88 degrees.

As the slow-moving front continued to drift through the Midlands and head toward the coast overnight, it triggered some thunderstorms in portions of the Lowcountry and Pee Dee. Most of the CoCoRaHS stations located in Myrtle Beach reported more than an inch of rain on the morning of Wednesday, October 17. These same regions experienced a summer-like pattern with above normal temperatures, while the Midlands and Upstate enjoyed a break from the warm temperatures. The station in Bamberg reported a minimum temperature of 72 degrees, which broke the previous daily record for a high minimum temperature of 67 degrees set back in 1999. For the second day in a row, the NWS station at the Charleston International Airport recorded a high of 90 degrees, setting the total number of days of 90 degrees or above for the month at six, the most in any October since 1938. Behind the front, dry, high pressure built over the state on Thursday, October 18. The drier air allowed for radiational cooling, and most stations across the state reported morning temperatures below 60 degrees. The NWS station at Jocassee recorded a morning low of 38 degrees, and even the station in McClellanville reported a minimum temperature of 56 degrees for the day. Despite the cool start to the morning in many locations, temperatures rebounded by the afternoon back into the upper 70's to mid-80's. For the first time since September 16, the river gauge along the Waccamaw River at Conway dropped below 10 ft. The drier air mass helped temperatures on the morning of October 19 drop into the 40's for most of the state. The NWS station at Little Mountain had a low temperature of 41 degrees, nearly 10 degrees colder than normal.

On Saturday, October 20, a more vigorous cold front pushed into the region, bringing moisture into the area. Clouds lingered across the state for most of the day and light rain, less than 0.50 inches, fell across most of the Upstate, with heavier showers observed from the Interstate 20 corridor to the coast. The cloud cover kept minimum temperatures from cooling as much as they had the previous two days, and Little Mountain reported a low temperature of 56 degrees, 15 degrees warmer than the minimum temperature the day before. As the front cleared the state, the winds shifted to the northwest behind the front, and advisories for the strong winds were issued for portions of the state. During the morning of October 21, the stations at the airports in Aiken, Columbia, York, Florence, Charleston and Myrtle Beach observed gusty winds between 25 to 30 mph. A wind gust of 32 mph was measured in the early morning hours at the NWS station located at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport. The front ushered in some of the coldest air of the season and frost advisories and freeze watches were issued for portions of the Upstate and Midlands. The station located at the top of Sassafras Mountain reported a low temperature of 30 degrees, and closer to the coast, the station in Myrtle Beach recorded a low of 51 degrees. Even under clear and sunny skies, the temperature at many locations struggled to make it into the mid-60’s by late afternoon. The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport recorded a high of 61 degrees, and the Columbia Metropolitan Airport measured a high of 64 degrees, while the Charleston International Airport topped out at 67 degrees for the day.

The dry and cool air would linger into the early part of the following week, with a chance of the weather becoming unsettled by mid-week.

(Note: The highest and lowest official temperatures and highest precipitation totals provided below are based on observations from the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer network and the National Weather Service's Forecast Offices.)
The highest temperature reported was 94 degrees on October 16 at the Savannah NWR South Carolina site in Jasper County.
The lowest temperature reported was 37 degrees at Rock Hill-York County Airport on October 21.
The maximum 24-hour precipitation reported was 1.20 inches at the National Weather Service Station in Dillon ending at 8:00 a.m. on October 17. This total also stands as the 7-day rainfall total at the station.
The CoCoRaHS Station Myrtle Beach 5.0 NNW (SC-HR-20) reported a 24-hour precipitation total of 1.75 inches, ending at 8:15 a.m. on October 17.
The state average precipitation for the seven-day period was 0.30 inches.


 Weekly*Since Jan 1Departure
Anderson AirportTrace43.758.0
Greer Airport0.0346.598.3
Charlotte, NC Airport0.3144.139.9
Columbia Metro Airport0.0234.47-3.3
Orangeburg Airport0.9835.19-4.6
Augusta, GA Airport0.1241.865.4
Florence Airport0.2045.879.5
North Myrtle Beach Airport1.0352.798.3
Charleston Air Force Base0.0242.17-2.4
Savannah, GA Airport0.2031.15-10.6
*Weekly precipitation totals ending midnight Sunday.                    


4-inch depth soil temperature: Clinton: 61 degrees. Columbia: 67 degrees. Barnwell: 59 degrees. Mullins: 50 degrees.


The limited precipitation over the 7-day period allowed for rivers in the Pee Dee and Midlands to fall after the rainfall from Hurricane Michael, which impacted the previous week. Throughout the week, most of the Upstate received less than 0.25 inches, but some of the areas along the Blue Ridge had up to an inch. The area of greatest rainfall was confined to portions of the Midlands and Pee Dee, where up to 2 inches fell, with locally higher amounts around Manning. The river level of the Pee Dee River at Pee Dee continued to drop from moderate flood stage to minor flood stage, and the Lynches River at Effingham to fall below action stage, though the streamflow values of both rivers remained above normal. Many Lowcountry and Central Savannah Area rivers were dealing with the persistent dry conditions, such as the Little River near Mt. Carmel which continued to measure at below normal streamflow values and streamflow values much below normal were recorded at the Savannah River near Augusta. The October 18 release of the National Drought Monitor showed some improved conditions in portions of the Lowcountry, with a reduction in the area of moderate drought (D1). However, dry conditions (D0) extended from the South Carolina and Georgia border into Oconee, Anderson, Abbeville, McCormick and Edgefield counties, and along the coast into Charleston County and inland to include Colleton, Bamberg and Allendale counties.


Charleston Harbor (CHTS1): 74.7 degrees.
Capers Nearshore Buoy (Station 41029): 74.8 degrees.
Fripps Nearshore Buoy (Station 41033): Not Available.

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