Don’t bother wondering. It will rain this week, often. At any time of day or night, virtually anywhere or everywhere in the state. Here’s some information for you to chew on while you go find your poncho:
How bad will it get?
A “Groundhog Day” movie-style series of repeats of what you saw Monday morning: thunderstorms developing rapidly, dropping a deluge, then moving on.
Overall, as much as 2 to 3 inches of rain could fall through Friday, said meteorologist Steve Rowley of the National Weather Service.
But rain could be heavier in spots and flooding can be expected. In some locations, more than 3 inches fell in the early hours Monday and the Weather Service issued flood advisories. Most storms should tend to occur overnight.
What will it be like in the Midlands and Upstate?
See “Groundhog Day” reference above.
“Downright tropical,” said Mark Malsick, the S.C. Climate Office severe weather liaison.
Malsick expects anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of rain through Friday for the rest of South Carolina, with the usual thunderstorm threats: lightning, flooding and maybe a waterspout over the lakes.
Remember, the rivers roll down to the coast, which means any flood waters that originate up there can end up down here.
Is there any chance of sunny beach weather?
Well, sure. Really. Except for one thing: “Be prepared to get off the beach quickly,” Rowley said.
Thunder and lightning could roll off in the ocean or simply blow up over top of you at any time. A wind gust of more than 30 mph was reported Monday morning on the Folly Beach pier.
How bad has it been so far?
At least one waterspout was reported off Charleston area beaches Monday. Spouts kicked up off and on last week, including one that came ashore in Myrtle Beach before dissipating.
A tornado tore through an island near Savannah on Friday packing 107 mph winds. It knocked over trees and damaged the roofs of about 50 homes in one subdivision. The winds tore off other roofs or shingles, damaged fences and other structures. No one was reported hurt.
Wind damage and fallen trees have been reported throughout South Carolina. And fallen trees and other debris remains a concern.
Is this some kind of historic deluge?
It does seem like it’s been raining all month. As of Monday, more than 7 inches of rain had fallen in July. But the record for the month is 18.46 inches set in 1964, courtesy of Tropical Storm No. 1 (storms weren’t named then).
What is unusual is that the Bermuda High, a weather pattern that develops offshore during warmer months, is stirring up this stormy weather from the south. The Bermuda High is usually friendlier than that, supplying us with those nice beach days.
When does it end?
Probably better you just don’t ask. There’s a chance of a break in the late weekend or early next week, Rowley said. But it won’t last. The medium range, or the eight to 14 day forecast, continues to call for wetter-than-average weather. And this time of year, that means thunderstorms. Two weeks would bring us to mid-August, right about when the hurricane season usually starts to boil.