The old year ended cold and dry and was followed by the same on Tuesday, January 1, 2002. On Wednesday a strong low pressure system rotating around a base of arctic type air began entering South Carolina from the south. Just after sunrise, a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow was falling over counties bordering the central and lower Savannah River. Light to moderate snow fell from Wednesday into Thursday night for most sites. Snowfall totals of up to eight inches were measured across the central and northern midlands. Areas south received lesser amounts but experienced widespread power disruptions due to freezing rain. On Friday morning the lowest temperatures in over a year were observed. Minimum temperatures dropped into the middle teens all the way to the central coast. Roadway conditions improved on Saturday but not before more than 2000 vehicle accidents had been noted. A brief push of warmer southerly winds on Sunday combined with scattered showers to accelerate the melting of ice cover. For the period, the state average temperature was nine degrees below normal.
PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE DATA
The highest temperature was 67 degrees at Jamestown on January 6. The lowest temperature reported was 7 degrees at Chester on the morning of January 4. The greatest 24-hour rainfall reported was 1.50" at Anderson and Pee Dee ending at 7:00 a.m. on January 3. The average statewide rainfall for the period was 0.7".
Precipitation Period 2002 Deviation* Temperature Location Total Total From Avg. Maximum Minimum Greer 0.97 0.97 0.2A 60 23 Columbia 0.95 0.95 0.1A 56 17 Florence 0.60 0.60 0.2B 61 20 Charleston 0.94 0.94 0.2A 66 21 N Myrtle Beach 0.43 0.43 0.2B 65 25 Augusta, Ga. 1.17 1.17 0.4A 59 16 *A=Above, B=Below
Note: Weekly rainfall amounts are for the period ending midnight Monday through midnight Sunday
4 inch depth average soil temperature: Columbia 47 degrees.
RIVERS AND SURF
South Carolina river stages were below normal.
Surf temperatures at Myrtle Beach and Savannah will average around 51 degrees.