South Carolina 2007 Weather in Review
South Carolina State Climatology Office
South Carolina Department Natural Resources
P.O. Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202
The first week of the New Year began with thunderstorms, high winds and isolated tornadoes over the Upstate, January 5. At 2:00 p.m., Anderson reported heavy rain and south winds gusting to 47 mph. Liberty, in Pickens County, was hit by a violent and localized tornado that tossed automobiles and injured 15 people. Also on January 5, Jamestown warmed to 78 degrees.
Record high temperatures for the day were set on January 8 at Florence Regional airport, 76 degrees, and 75 degrees at North Myrtle Beach airport. On January 10, Jamestown was the state's warmest at 80 degrees. In addition to the unseasonably warm temperatures, Edisto Beach recorded 3.05 inches of rainfall on January 12-13. On January 15, additional high temperature date records were set at Myrtle Beach and Charleston at 75 and 79 degrees respectively. A sharp cold front on January 16 swept across the State, and was followed by freezing rain on January 18. Another surge of Arctic air raced into the State on January 28. At 1:00 a.m. January 29, the Coast Guard Station in Charleston measured a wind gust of 59 mph. Also that morning, Caesars Head recorded the State's coldest temperature of 6 degrees.
On February 1, low pressure moved northeast from the Gulf Coast and created a mix of winter weather for inland locations. Snow began falling across the western Piedmont and Foothills before 5:00 a.m. Edgemoore, in Chester County, measured a snowfall total of 4.5 inches. A Spring-like pattern of thunderstorms with isolated tornadoes pounded Allendale, McCormick and Bamberg counties on February 13, producing rainfall amounts of 2.55 inches at Cheraw. More thunderstorms on February 21 produced half-inch hail which was reported to have "covered the ground" in Tigerville. Pritchardville recorded an 80 degree temperature on February 27.
A complex storm system spread over the state on March 1 with high winds and heavy rains. Table Rock received 4.99 inches of rain overnight and the Columbia Owens Airport registered a wind gust of 59 mph that caused downed trees and power disruptions. A lengthy warming trend began March 5 with signs of early flowering by March 11. Daily temperatures varied greatly during the mid-month with early morning freezes and 80-degree afternoons. Givhans on March 13 and Darlington on March 15 reported 85-degree high temperatures. Johnston, Cedar Creek, and Hunts Bridge reported morning lows of 22 degrees on March 18. Unseasonable warmth during a nearly week-long period of stable high pressure began March 21 and forced the early release of a heavy blanket of tree pollen. On March 25, both Orangeburg and Hardeeville recorded 92-degree high temperatures to finish an abnormally warm March.
Jamestown warmed to 88 degrees on April 2 ahead of record cold that spread over the State on April 5. Caesars Head set a State April low temperature record of 16 degrees on the morning of April 7 and snow fell at Greer early on April 8. Nearly all of the State's emerging peach crop was lost due to the sub-freezing Arctic air. After the record cold air outbreak, warm, moist air returned, and triggering thunderstorms on April 12 that produced large damaging hail in Rock Hill. Another round of overnight thunderstorms on April 14 spawned a violent tornado that raced through Sumter County. Barnwell received 3.20 inches of rain in 24 hours on the same day. The lack of rainfall year-to-date was began to affect agriculture, specifically dry top soil, during the last two weeks of April.
Walhalla's 94 degrees on May 1 was their warmest start to May in over 100 years of recordkeeping. On May 9, Subtropical Storm Andrea formed east of Charleston and produced welcomed rainfall over the Pee Dee and upper coast. A period of stable, dry weather was observed during the middle of the month as high pressure dominated. On May 30, Chesterfield recorded the season's highest temperature of 96 degrees. Columbia finished the month with a rainfall total of only 0.40 inches; their driest in 56 years. Shallow rooted, non-irrigated plant life was visibly stressed all across the State by the continued drought conditions.
Tropical Depression Barry influenced South Carolina on June 2 as the storm tracked along the Atlantic Coast. Heavy rains of between three and six inches fell over southern, coastal counties as the storm passed offshore. Pritchardville measured a 24-hour rainfall of 6.08 inches. The State's first 100-degree day was reported at Jamestown on June 9. A tornado spun through Blackstock in Fairfield County on June 11 and 1.75-inch hail fell during thunderstorms at Gaston and Walterboro on June 12. The heaviest official 24-hour rainfall reported was 3.78 inches at Liberty on June 12. On June 19, a 90-mph downburst was recorded near a remote location just southwest of Eadytown during a severe storm. Multi-cell storms on Monday, June 25, produced hail that covered the ground near Nesmith in Williamsburg County and the Anderson airport measured a wind gust of 60 mph.
Cooler air and clouds spread over much of eastern South Carolina during the first few days of the month. On July 4, Myrtle Beach's high temperature of only 62 degrees made Independence Day the coolest in 55 years. A tropical air mass settled into the State following this cool snap with humid, high temperatures in the upper 90s and scattered thunderstorms. A violent thunderstorm developed near the Columbia Metro airport on July 17 and produced a wind gust of 75 mph. An almost stationary cloudburst on Ft. Moultrie at Sullivan's Island dropped heavy rains totaling 4.50 inches July 20. Record July cold was observed on July 23 cooling Columbia to a record 58 degrees. Johnston's 52 degrees on that same day was their coolest July temperature in over 50 years. The heat of mid-summer quickly returned along with thunderstorms on July 27 that produced two-inch hailstones and a wind gust of 63 mph at Sumter's Shaw Air Force Base. On July 30, Charleston National Weather Service spotters reported rainfall rates as high as 3.9 inches per hour in Berkeley County that triggered widespread street flooding.
Blistering 101 degree heat caused open pan evaporation at the Sandhill Experiment Station to peak August 5 with the day's water loss of 0.48 inches. Record setting heat continued over the State during the second week in August with the highest temperatures in 24 summers. The hot weather peaked on August 10 when the National Weather Service in Greer observed an all time record high temperature of 105 degrees. Columbia Metro Airport tied their all time highest of 107 degrees that same day. The highest official temperature reported that day in the State was 110 degrees at Johnston, only one degree from the South Carolina all-time record high of 111 degrees set at Blackville and Calhoun Falls in September of 1925 and Camden in June of 1954. A strong, cold front entered the state during the evening of the 10th and produced violent thunderstorms across the Pee Dee and north coastal counties. A storm survey team from the Wilmington, North Carolina, National Weather Service Forecast Office estimated winds in parts of Horry County reached speeds between 95 to 109 mph. Sweltering heat continued for another week, worsening the statewide drought. On August 26, a quasi-stationary front became the focus of scattered thundershowers. A Charleston NWS spotter reported 4.40 inches of rain August 28 near the community of New Hope in Berkeley County. Heavy rains totaling 7.60 inches fell at Hilton Head Airport August 31 to September 1.
The hot and dry days of summer continued into September. Less humid air brought some overnight and early morning relief. On September 4, Johnston enjoyed a sunrise temperature of 53 degrees. Excessive heat returned September 11 and Darlington airport reported 99 degrees that day. The combination of the drifting remnants of Hurricane Humberto and a stalled boundary across the Upstate made for welcomed rains September 14. Anderson received 3.50 inches of rain that day. On September 25, the first of a series of cold fronts helped to moderate the longstanding daily high temperatures. Onshore winds at Myrtle Beach limited the high temperature to only 82 degrees. On the last morning of the month, Lake Bowen cooled to 39 degrees.
Rainfall coverage increased during the first week in October with the heaviest amounts near the coast. Columbia Metro Airport saw a new record daily high of 94 degrees on October 9. It was also their highest temperature ever recorded for so late in the season. On October 11, Barnwell's high temperature plunged 43 degrees to 48 degrees from the previous day's high of 91 degrees. A cold, 35-degree morning was observed on October 14 at Cedar Creek. An upper level low-pressure feature, parked over Mississippi, was responsible for an extended period of warm and wet weather October 22-26. Columbia, Orangeburg, and Barnwell all warmed to 90 degrees on October 23. Although most locations reported generous rains during the period, the heaviest amounts fell over eastern South Carolina. Witherbee, in Berkeley County, measured a weekly rainfall total of 4.91 inches. A Canadian airmass spread over South Carolina on October 29. The lowest official temperature reported was 27 degrees at Hunts Bridge on the morning of October 30. Several rural sites across the Midlands observed the season's first frost.
Cold, dry air arrived at the start of November. At 2:00 p.m. November 6, Greenwood Airport reported 13 percent relative humidity. November 8 proved to be the State's coldest in seven months. Lake Bowen recorded a minimum temperature of 21 degrees. Warm weather returned at the end of mid-November. The highest official temperature reported was 84 degrees at Allendale on November 14. Upstate sites received needed rain on November 21 with the heaviest 24-hour rainfall, 1.75 inches, collected at Table Rock. Charleston City received no rain during the month making November 2007 the driest November in Charleston's history.
Large temperature fluctuations were observed early in December ranging from 22 degrees at Lake Bowen on December 6 to 81 degrees at Givhans on December 9. Soaking rains of December 15, ahead of a sharp cold front, were the heaviest since the wet weather event of October 22-26. Sandy Run measured 3.12 inches in 24-hours. The season's coldest airmass settled into the state during the day on December 17. The following morning Lake Bowen's mercury fell to 14 degrees. Drenching rains fell over the southernmost counties overnight December 20 with the heaviest 24-hour rainfall, 4.21 inches, at Pritchardville.
Christmas Day had overcast skies, mild temperatures and rain showers that moved south to north over the westernmost counties. By evening, thunderstorms broke out over the Midlands with embedded heavy rains. Despite rainfall during the later half of December, most of South Carolina's reporting sites finished well below normal in yearly rainfall totals. Greenville-Spartanburg airport recorded 31.08 inches of rain during the year, making 2007 that site's driest year on record.