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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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May 14 - May 20, 2012


Monday morning's pre-dawn rainfalls for the Upstate left 4.02 inches at Liberty and 3.80 inches at Pickens. Thunderstorms during the afternoon hours were concentrated over the coastal plain but not before 1.75-inch diameter hail fell over Orangeburg County. Seabreeze forcing along a nearly stationary boundary combined to produce tropical downpours and flooding for Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties. The Crabtree Swamp gage measured a 24-hour rainfall total of 4.92 inches on Tuesday morning. Afternoon and evening storms in Newberry and Calhoun counties left 1.75-inch diameter hail. The Wilmington National Weather Service confirmed a "downburst" of estimated 70 mph winds four miles southwest of Longs. Winds estimated at 85 mph were observed two miles northeast of Lamar. The McEntire ANG AP received 3.02 inches in Tuesday's rain. Heavy rains developed again on Wednesday for the north coastal locations. The town of Longs reported "waist deep" roadway flooding at the intersection of Highways 9 and 105. Nearly continuous rain fell over Murrells Inlet. A CoCoRaHS volunteer in that area measured 7.58 inches. Localized flooding was observed with road closures, detours and vehicles driven into and abandoned in flooded ditches. At 9:57 p.m., the Jamestown Fire Department reported a four-hour rainfall of 7.00 inches. The excessive rainfall and gusting winds caused losses to the wheat and tobacco crops in Horry County. Daylight arrived on Thursday for the north coast with a landscape of standing water. James Island reported an overnight rainfall of 3.78 inches. Between 1:10 p.m. and 2:19 p.m. (69 minutes), the Florence Regional AP measured 2.19 inches. Flooding on the southwest part of Florence was said to be three feet deep in neighborhoods near Brittany Drive and the Delmae Elementary School. Dillon reported one of the heaviest totals with 4.85 inches. This stretch of daily rainfalls and amounts was the most for South Carolina since the third week of December 2009. Cloudy, breezy weather was observed on Friday with a few light showers. On Saturday afternoon, the 2012 season's first named Atlantic tropical storm formed at a position 140 miles east-southeast of Charleston. The circulation around Tropical Storm Alberto raised windspeeds along the beaches and sent brief rains to portions of the central coast. The CMAN station at Folly Beach recorded north winds gusting to 34 mph on Sunday morning. Drying sunshine on Sunday afternoon sent temperatures to 86 degrees at the Hartsville AP, Columbia and Saluda. At the end of the day, a distant and weakening Tropical Storm Alberto was moving away. The state average temperature for the seven-day period was one degree above normal.

The highest official temperature reported was 92 degrees at Edisto Island on May 15. The lowest official temperature reported was 47 degrees at Cedar Creek on May 20. The heaviest official 24-hour rainfall reported was 5.95 inches at Conway ending at 7:00 a.m. on May 15. The state average rainfall for the period was 1.9 inches.


                            Weekly   Jan 1   Departure     
                            Total    Total    from Avg
         Greer AP            1.33    14.04     -4.1
      Anderson AP            0.15    12.39     -4.9
      Columbia Metro AP      2.23    12.30     -3.1
    Orangeburg AP            1.05    12.15     -4.0
 Charlotte, NC AP            2.38    14.62     -1.1
   Augusta, GA Bush AP       1.58     8.79     -7.6
      Florence AP            4.19    15.70      1.7
N Myrtle Beach AP            1.29    10.84     -5.2
    Charleston AP            0.32    11.17     -3.9
  Savannah, GA AP            2.31    13.94     -1.0

Weekly rainfall totals ending midnight Sunday.  


4-inch depth soil temperature: Columbia 74 degrees, Charleston 75 degrees.


South Carolina river stages were near to below normal. Ocean water temperatures at nearby Johnny Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach, NC were reported at 74 degrees.

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