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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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December 10, 2018 - December 16, 2018


As the storm from the previous weekend moved off to the northeast, light rainfall and some wintry precipitation fell over portions of the state on Monday, December 10. The National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Weather Station at Caesars Head in Oconee County reported a snow depth of 14 inches and light snow was observed during the morning hours in Indian Land in Lancaster County and Pageland in Chesterfield County, though no accumulation occurred. High temperatures across the state were close to 20-degrees below normal for mid-December and were mainly in the upper 40's to low 50's. The maximum temperature of 41 degrees at the NWS station at the Charleston International Airport broke the previous daily low maximum temperature record of 42 degrees, set back in 1981. During the late evening, some lingering shower activity moved through the Midlands and Pee Dee regions, and some of the precipitation transitioned over to snow and sleet with little to no accumulation.

High pressure, with a drier airmass, began to build into the region on Tuesday, December 11 and would remain the main weather feature through Thursday. Across much of the state, low temperatures started in the mid to upper 30's, and black ice during the early morning commute was a concern in some of the cooler locations. Temperatures warmed into the upper 50's under clear skies and abundant sunshine, and the snowpack on the ground in the Upstate began to slowly melt. The clear skies and light winds helped allow for radiational cooling and temperatures dropped below freezing across much of the state, except for areas along the immediate coast. For the second morning in a row, black ice on roadways was a concern on December 12. The dry and quiet weather pattern continued through the midweek, and even with the drier air, some high-level cirrus clouds moved through the area. High temperatures rebounded into the 50's in the Midlands and Central Savannah River Area, and the NWS station at the Beaufort MCAS recorded a high of 60 degrees. By Thursday, December 13, the high pressure started to shift to the east and clouds increased as the warm front, ahead of a developing low-pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico, moved toward the region and temperatures returned to normal for this time of year. Based on the rain totals over the previous seven-day period, the Thursday, December 13 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor showed the complete removal of the area of dry conditions (D0) in Hampton and Jasper counties, the first time since the beginning of July that no drought conditions were reported in the state. As the low-pressure system approached the area, bringing with it the threat of heavy rains, the National Weather Service issued flood watches and advisories for parts of the Pee Dee Region. With warm air in place over the state, there was no threat of any wintry precipitation.

Heavy rainfall started to impact the region before daybreak on Friday, December 14, as the low brought an end to the quiet weather period, and the widespread precipitation would last through Saturday. CoCoRaHS observers in Charleston and Dorchester counties reported between an inch and four inches of rain; the two highest rainfall totals came from an observer on Edisto Island (3.84 inches) and one near Summerville (3.60 inches). A flash flood statement was issued due to the heavy rainfall, and numerous reports of street flooding were received from the downtown and Charleston Metro area, on James Island and in West Ashely. Neighborhoods in Knightsville and Summerville in Dorchester County reported up to a foot of standing water in yards and flood waters causing roads to be impassable. In Horry County, flooding near the Grier Swamp closed roads in Conway. The daily rainfall record at the NWS Charleston International Airport station, 1.17 inches set in 1977, was broken with a 24-hour total of 2.95 inches. The morning of Saturday, December 15, CoCoRaHS observers in the coastal areas of Georgetown and Horry counties submitted rainfall totals up to 5 inches, including the report from CoCoRaHS station SC-GT-87, who commented that most of the rain fell after they made their morning report on December 14. As the low tracked to the northeast and the rain cleared out, high temperatures across the state climbed to the upper 50's to mid-60's on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, December 16, the low had moved out of the region, and the return of high pressure signaled another dry and quiet period of weather. High temperatures were slightly above normal for this time of year, with many of the NWS stations across the state recording maximum temperatures in the mid to upper 60's. The high pressure would prevail through the beginning of the work week, with the threat of another storm system to affect the area later in the 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 70 degrees on December 16 at Moncks Corner in Berkeley County.
The lowest temperature reported was 21 degrees at the Ninety-Nine Islands station in Cherokee County on December 12.
The maximum 24-hour precipitation reported was 3.48 inches at the National Weather Service Station located in McClellanville on December 16.
The CoCoRaHS Station Murrells Inlet 2.4 NW (SC-HR-87) reported a 24-hour precipitation total of 5.00 inches, ending at 7:00 a.m. on December 15.
The state average precipitation for the seven-day period was 2.0 inches.


 Weekly*Since Jan 1Departure
Anderson Airport1.4755.9516.6
Greer Airport1.9863.3318.0
Charlotte, NC Airport1.4456.1716.1
Columbia Metro Airport1.5947.204.1
Orangeburg Airport1.5943.80-1.4
Augusta, GA Airport1.0952.3610.5
Florence Airport1.7455.9115.5
North Myrtle Beach Airport3.1767.0116.6
Charleston Air Force Base3.8755.866.4
Savannah, GA Airport2.23341.87-4.6
*Weekly precipitation totals ending midnight Sunday.                    


4-inch depth soil temperature: Clinton: 45 degrees. Columbia: 52 degrees. Barnwell: 48 degrees. Mullins: 47 degrees.


Much of the state received at least two inches of rain over the past seven days, with locations along the coast reporting up to five inches of rain between Friday morning and Saturday evening. Even the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) and the Lowcountry received between half an inch to an inch and a half of rain and continued to be one of the drier parts of the state, with the annual rainfall totals measuring close to ten inches below normal. The heavy rainfall on Friday caused some flooding issues in some of the coastal communities, especially in Charleston, as heavy rainfall trained over the area. The rainfall from the storm system at the end of the week caused rivers to rise in watersheds across the state, with some moderate flooding along the Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, and Santee rivers. Most of the rivers across the state were running near full bank, and some minor flooding was still possible along with some rivers systems, including the Savannah, Congaree, and Wateree. Rivers, creeks, and streams across most of the Palmetto State continued to report streamflow values that were much above normal for this time of year.


Charleston Harbor (CHTS1): 55.2 degrees.
Capers Nearshore Buoy (Station 41029): 58.1 degrees.
Fripps Nearshore Buoy (Station 41033): 56.1 degrees.

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