With the official start of Winter over two weeks away one would have never guessed a winter storm would affect South Carolina so early in the season. Monday and Tuesday preceded the storm with sunny cold weather before cloudiness spread into the western counties early Wednesday. With temperatures hovering around freezing, precipitation started falling into a shallow layer of thirty degree air, setting the stage for icing that stretched from the mountains eastward to North Charleston. By late in the day on Wednesday, freezing rain had accumulated on trees, power lines, and elevated surfaces. Hardest hit were counties across the northern midlands and upstate. Ice up to three quarters of an inch felled limbs, caused loss of electricity and was the blame for vehicle accidents. Nearly one half million customers were reported to have experienced power failure. Clouds were slow to clear on Thursday while afternoon temperatures remained in the 40's. High pressure helped clear conditions over the weekend with mostly sunny weather and sub-freezing mornings. The average statewide temperature for the period was eight degrees below normal.
PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE DATA
The highest temperature reported was 68 degrees at Orangeburg on December 3. The lowest temperature was 18 degrees at Lake Bowen on the morning of December 2. The heaviest official 24-hour rainfall reported was 3.30”at Walhalla ending at 7:00 a.m. on December 5. The average statewide rainfall for the period was 0.7.”
Precipitation Period 2002 Deviation* Temperature Location Total Total From Avg. Maximum Minimum Greer 1.71 43.09 4.3B 59 24 Columbia 0.43 43.52 2.2B 61 24 Florence 0.27 34.59 7.5B 60 23 Charleston 0.07 55.94 6.9A 63 28 N Myrtle Beach 0.45 36.62 6.5B 60 25 Augusta, Ga. 0.29 36.78 5.4B 65 23 A=Above, B=Below
Note: Weekly rainfall amounts are for the 24-hour period ending midnight Sunday.
4 inch depth average soil temperature: Columbia 51 degrees.
RIVERS AND SURF
South Carolina river stages are near to below normal.
Surf temperatures at Myrtle Beach and Savannah will average around 52 degrees.