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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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September 21 - September 27, 2015


Monday afternoon temperatures reached 88 degrees at Bennettsville, Orangeburg and Walterboro. Convergence along a nearly stationary boundary brought heavy rains to the Midlands. Richland County instruments measured 2.91 inches of rain (1.46 inches in 15 minutes) at the Martin Luther King (MLK) Park in the Columbia Five Points area that produced flash flooding. More rains were drawn into an area of falling pressure that began drifting northwestward from the Georgia coast. Tuesday morning rainfall amounts included 1.97 inches at Bishopville and 1.96 inches at Orangeburg. Partial sunshine moved the temperature to 84 degrees at Lake City just ahead of northerly winds slowly spilling south. On Wednesday, the first day of astronomical autumn, Greenwood and Florence recorded a mild 82 degrees. At 4:18 p.m., Springmaid Pier reported 72 degrees with north winds gusting at 18 knots. Waves of rainshowers returned on Thursday. At 9:00 a.m., Shaw AFB noted blowing drizzle, 66 degrees and northeast winds gusting to 26 mph. A large shield of rain formed over the Lowcountry just before noon and increased in coverage into central South Carolina. At 2.45 p.m., the gage at MLK Park in Columbia's Five Points had received 3.39 inches (2.20 inches in one hour). The Rocky Branch Creek rose to 11.54 feet marking the fourth highest stage of record since October 2007. The Columbia AP recorded five continuous hours of heavy rain. Satellite and water vapor analysis by the Charleston National Weather service traced the source-plume of moisture southward through Central America and into the eastern Pacific Ocean. At 9:49 p.m., the Springmaid Pier recorded north winds gusting to 28.9 knots. At around 12:42 a.m. and during the darkness of Friday morning, veering winds aloft spun a violent tornado to the surface on Johns Island. An NWS storm survey team rated the twister at the "upper end" of an EF-2 with winds estimated at 130 mph and a nearly seven-mile path. At least 80 homes were damaged, some were completely dismantled. Thousands of trees were broken or toppled. Heavy rains fell from the coast into the Upstate. Measurements taken on Friday morning included a CoCoRaHS volunteer observer in Walterboro reporting a 24-hour amount of 5.95 inches. Another volunteer at Pawley's Island measured 4.60 inches. Antreville was soaked with 3.04 inches and Edgefield received 3.03 inches. Breaks for sun on Friday helped the Kingstree AP reach a warm 88 degrees but a distant and cloudy Greenville-Spartanburg AP only made it to 66 degrees and their coolest afternoon since April 29. The 1.86 inches of rain at Caesars Head gave that location a two-day total of 3.44 inches. Another localized downpour on Saturday over the Highway 601-Leesburg Road recording rain gage brought 1.93 inches and gave that location a running three-day total of 5.67 inches. Cloudy, mild conditions on Sunday included a choice of light rain, drizzle or mist. Other impressive weekly rainfall totals came in at 5.01 inches at the USC Columbia campus, 4.49 inches for Chesnee, 3.43 inches at Lockhart and 3.01 inches in Hartsville. This was the state's wettest week since the first week of June. The state average temperature for the seven-day period was one degree above the long-term average.

The highest official temperature reported was 91 degrees at Sandhill Experiment Station on September 21. The lowest official temperature reported was 52 degrees at Caesars Head on September 25. The heaviest official 24-hour rainfall reported was 3.78 inches at the USC Campus NWS tipping bucket gage ending at 7:00 a.m. on September 25. The state average rainfall for the seven-day period was 2.2 inches.


  Weekly Jan 1 Departure
Anderson AP 1.38 27.35 -5.7
Greer AP 2.40 30.73 -4.9
Charlotte, NC AP 0.96 24.56 -6.9
Columbia Metro AP 3.56 37.08 2.0
Orangeburg AP 3.22 31.68 -5.0
Augusta, GA Bush AP 3.02 30.33 -3.4
Florence AP 1.32 29.99 -3.8
N Myrtle Beach AP 1.32 38.05 -3.0
Charleston AP 1.20 44.13 2.9
Savannah, GA AP 0.80 38.31 -0.2

Weekly rainfall totals ending midnight Sunday.


4-inch depth soil temperature: Columbia 74 degrees, Charleston 78 degrees.


South Carolina river stages were near to below normal. Charleston Harbor reported a water temperature of 77 degrees and Springmaid Pier at Myrtle Beach reported a surf water temperature of 77 degrees.

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