August 23 - 29, 2004


Warm days, mild mornings, and widely scattered evening thunderstorms were observed between Monday and Wednesday. Clouds began brushing the coastal counties Thursday as low pressure began forming along a boundary offshore. On Friday, the feature developed into a tropical depression. The system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gaston Saturday. Warnings were issued for South Carolina counties facing the Atlantic. Gaston slowly moved north and landfalled as a strong Tropical Storm just south of Cape Romain Sunday morning. Winds gusted to 82 mph in downtown Charleston. Widespread power disruptions occurred due to toppled trees, downed limbs, and airborne debris. Several small airports reported costly losses to structures and planes. Lakefront property in the Bonneau Beach area of Lake Moultrie was heavily damaged by wind driven breakers. Flooding rains of 5 to 10 inches were measured in a corridor from Charleston County into Florence. Locations west of the storm's circulation enjoyed a sunny and dry end to the week. For the period, the state average temperature was one degree below normal.

The highest official temperature reported was 93 degrees at Orangeburg on August 24 and at Chesterfield on August 28. The lowest official temperature reported was 60 degrees at Caesars Head on the morning of August 23. The heaviest official 24-hour rainfall reported was 8.90" at Cades on August 29. The average statewide rainfall for the period was 1.4.


                       Weekly   Jan 1  Deviation     
                        Total   Total   From Avg
         Greer           0.68    25.6       -8.9
      Columbia           0.36    30.3       -4.6          
    Orangeburg           0.61    29.6       -4.1
 Charlotte, NC           0.36    30.6       +1.3
   Augusta, GA           0.00    28.5       -3.2 
      Florence           5.19    27.3       -4.5           
  Myrtle Beach           2.88    35.7       +5.6 
    Charleston           4.80    31.2       -4.9           
  Savannah, GA  	 0.00	 26.7       -9.0

Weekly rainfall totals ending midnight Sunday.            



4 inch depth average soil temperature: Columbia 80 degrees.


South Carolina river stages were below normal. Surf temperatures at Myrtle Beach
and Savannah will average around 79 degrees.