Clearing skies began the week with high pressure slowly building southeastward. Much colder, dry air arrived in the state on Wednesday morning along with reports of frost. Late on Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning an upper air disturbance raced across the state providing snow showers and flurries over the northern counties, the midlands and all the way to Charleston. A light dusting of snow was observed, mostly on rooftops and autos. Record setting cold quickly followed for Thursday and Friday mornings. Early fruit varieties, wheat and vegetables were severely impacted by the hard freeze. On Friday morning the mercury fell into the low to mid-teens across the upstate and into the low to mid-twenties towards the coast. As the Arctic-type high pressure departed to the east, a rapid warmup returned for the weekend. Afternoon temperatures on Saturday and Sunday climbed to near and above 70 degrees. Statewide temperatures for the period averaged 10 degrees below normal.
PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE DATA
The maximum observed temperature was 74 degrees on March 9 at Myrtle Beach. The minimum observed temperature was 10 degrees at Hunts Bridge on the morning of March 13. The heaviest official 24-hour rainfall was recorded at Salem with 4.00" ending at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, March 9. Statewide rainfall for the period averaged 2.0 inches.
Precipitation Period 1997 Deviation* Temperature Location Total Total From Avg. Maximum Minimum Greer 0.07 16.9 5.7A 68 19 Charlotte, NC 0.53 11.7 1.9A 71 21 Columbia 0.05 15.6 4.7A 70 20 Florence FAA 0.88 14.4 5.5A 70 21 Blackville 1.65 17.6 7.1A 72 19 Augusta, GA 0.82 19.2 8.5A 71 20 Beaufort 2.16 19.5 11.0A 69 27 Charleston 1.13 20.1 11.2A 72 22 Myrtle Beach 3.00 21.5 11.5A 74 24 *A=Above, B=BelowNote: Weekly rainfall amounts are for the prior 24-hrs ending 7:00 a.m. Monday through ending 7:00 a.m. Sunday
ENERGY DEMAND AND AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY
Degree Days Actual Mar. 1-15 Cooling Heating Columbia 0 255 Charleston 2 198 Greenville 0 304Temperatures are expected to average near normal for the week. Rainfall is expected to be near to above normal. The Sandhill Research and Education Center in north Columbia reports an average 4-inch depth soil temperature of 56 degrees.
RIVERS AND SURF
Rivers are above normal. Surf temperatures at Myrtle Beach and Savannah will average around 55 degrees.