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Locally Heavy Snow and Rain In A Few Spots

A few locations will see heavy snowfall today, including the northern California mountains and Sierra and across the northern Rockies into eastern Montana. Meanwhile, locally heavy to excessive rainfall is possible across southern Tennessee into northern Alabama and Georgia. A more organized and widespread heavy rainfall threat may be possible midweek for the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. Read More >

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Columbia SC
434 PM EDT Thu 06 2019

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...


...Record Heat Wave-Flash Drought in Late May...
...Flash Drought Expands Dry Conditions Across the Midlands and
Central Savannah River Area...
...2nd Warmest May on Record at both Augusta and Columbia...
...Precipitation Early, Then Dry Conditions...
...Broke the Record for the Highest Maximum Temperature for May at
Augusta.
...Tied the Record for the Highest Maximum Temperature for May at
Columbia...


The area went from snow and tornadoes in April to drought and record
high temperatures in May. May of 2019 will be remembered for the
heat wave that developed during the last two weeks of the month and
peaked during the last week of the month. Many records were either
tied or broken at Augusta, Columbia and many NWS Cooperative
Observer sites. Due to the large ridge of high pressure that built
over the Southeast during the period, rainfall was scarce. This
rapidly increased the area of drought across the state. The
combination or record high temperatures and little to no rain
produced conditions that can only be explained by the phrase Flash
Drought. This type of Flash Drought is due to the excessive heat
which produces increase evapotranspiration and low and decreasing
soil moisture.

Here are some of the daily temperature streaks for a few stations
across the Midlands and CSRA:

Columbia Univ. of South Carolina (NWS Coop Site-USCS1)...
May 24...100 degrees
May 25...104 degrees
May 26...103 degrees
May 27...103 degrees
May 28...105 degrees
May 29...103 degrees
May 30...103 degrees
May 31...102 degrees

8 Consecutive Days of 100 degrees or higher, previous May record
was 3 days in 1996. Records for this station extend from 1954-
Present.

*State Record High Temperature for the month of May is 106 degrees
set in Gillisonville on May 30, 1898 and Santuck on May 26, 1911.

Barnwell 5 ENE (NWS Coop Site-BAMS1)...
May 26...102 degrees
May 27...102 degrees
May 28...102 degrees
May 29...101 degrees
May 30...103 degrees
May 31...100 degrees

Pelion 0.8 NW (NWS Coop Site-PLNS1)...
May 25...101 degrees
May 26...101 degrees
May 27...101 degrees
May 28...102 degrees
May 29...100 degrees
May 30...100 degrees

Augusta Bush Field (NWS AGS)...
May 24....98 degrees
May 25...100 degrees
May 26...101 degrees
May 27...100 degrees
May 28...101 degrees
May 29...101 degrees
May 30....99 degrees

5 Consecutive Days of 100 degrees or higher, previous May record
was 1 day in 1926. Records for Augusta extend from 1874-Present.

Columbia Metro Airport (NWS CAE)...
May 25...100 degrees
May 26...100 degrees
May 27....99 degrees
May 28...101 degrees
May 29...100 degrees
May 30...100 degrees

3 Consecutive Days of 100 degrees or higher, previous May record
was 2 days in 1041. Records for Columbia extend from 1887-Present.

North 5 NE (NWS Coop Site-NRTS1)...
May 27...100 degrees
May 28...100 degrees
May 29...102 degrees
May 30...101 degrees
May 31...100 degrees


Evapotranspiration values were very impressive during the Heat Wave
across the area. There are 2 official sites and 1 unofficial site in
our CWA (County Warning Area) that measure evaporation.

The NWS Coop Site at Barnwell averaged 0.25 to 0.35 inches of
evaporation. The highest evaporation was reported on the morning of
May 31 of 0.50 inches.

The NWS Coop Site at North averaged 0.25 to 0.35 inches of
evaporation. The highest evaporation was reported on the morning of
May 30th of 0.36 inches.

Our unofficial evaporation report from NWS Coop Site at Graniteville
averaged 0.20 to 0.30 inches of evaporation. The highest evaporation
was reported on the morning of the 29th of 0.30 inches.


.Augusta Average Temperatures...

The average temperature at Augusta Regional Bush Field for May was
77.5 degrees or 6.4 degrees above the normal of 71.1 degrees. It was
the 2nd warmest May on record at Augusta.

Here are the top 5 warmest May years on record:

1. 77.9 degrees in 1933
2. 77.5 degrees in 2019
3. 77.4 degrees in 1896
4. 76.2 degrees in 1962
5. 75.9 degrees in 1953


.Columbia Average Temperatures...

The average temperature at Columbia Metro Airport for May was 77.3
degrees or 5.6 degrees above the normal of 71.7 degrees. It was tied
for the 2nd warmest May on record with 1953.

Here are the top 5 warmest May years on record:

1. 77.5 degrees in 1896
2. 77.3 degrees in 2019 and 1953
4. 77.0 degrees in 1933
5. 76.9 degrees in 2018



.Augusta Rainfall...

Augusta Bush Field received 3.70 inches of rainfall during May, 1.05
inches above the normal of 2.65 inches.

.Columbia Rainfall...

Columbia Metro Airport received 2.35 inches of rainfall during May,
0.62 inches below the normal of 2.97 inches.


Here are some of the highest/lowest official NWS Coop Observer
monthly rainfall totals for May 2019:

BNLS1 Barnwell 5 ENE..........4.50 inches
GNTS1 Graniteville 1.2 NE.....3.83 inches
AKIS1 Aiken 2 E...............3.67 inches

CEWS1 Cheraw Water Plant......1.02 inches
THMG1 Thomson 1.5 SSE.........1.02 inches
ORBS1 Orangeburg 2............1.12 inches


Here are some of the highest/lowest CoCoRaHS monthly rainfall totals
for May 2019:

South Carolina...
SC-LN-8  Lancaster 0.4 WSW...7.39 inches
SC-LN-20 Lancaster 11.0 ENE..7.26 inches
SC-CF-5  Pageland 9.0 WNW....5.64 inches

SC-OR-37 Orangeburg 0.4 WNW..0.84 inches
SC-AK-83 Springfield 4.0 WNW.1.26 inches
SC-LX-69 Lexington 3.0 WSW...1.33 inches

Georgia...
GA-BK-9  S. Augusta 4.1 S....3.32 inches
GA-BK-10 Waynesboro 5.3 SE...2.63 inches
GA-LC-2  Tignall 10.2 NE.....2.62 inches

GA-CU-6  Martinez 0.9 NW.....1.52 inches
GA-CU-21 Martinez 3.0 NE.....1.63 inches
GA-RC-9  W. Augusta 0.9 NW...1.99 inches


Highest Wind Gusts at ASOS Sites during May:

Orangeburg County Airport (OGB).......55 mph on the 11th
Columbia Hamilton Owens Field (CUB)...44 mph on the 11th
Augusta Bush Field (AGS)..............42 mph on the 11th
Columbia Metro Airport (CAE)..........40 mph on the 11th
Augusta Daniel Field (DNL)............33 mph on the 5th

Highest Wind Gusts on the area lakes during May:

Lake Murray Flotilla Island (LMFS1)...37 mph on the 5th
Lake Murray Towers USGS (IRMS1).......36 mph on the 4th
Lake Wateree Dam (WATS1)..............36 mph on the 12th
Lake Thurmond Dam (CHDS1).............31 mph on the 5th


Lake Murray Water Temperatures (near surface) at The Towers
for May:

Warmest...86.0F on the 28th
Coolest...69.8F on the 10th


Temperature/Precipitation Records Tied or Broken during the month
of May:

Augusta...
24th...98 degrees, Tied Record High set in 1878.
25th...100 degrees, Broke Record High of 99 set in 2000 and 1878.
26th...101 degrees, Broke Record High of 100 set in 1926 and 1878.
27th...100 degrees, Broke Record High of 99 set in 2000 and 1916.
28th...101 degrees, Broke Record High of 99 set in 1964.
29th...101 degrees, Broke Record High of 99 set in 1914.
30th...99 degrees, Tied Record High set in 1914 and 1898.

COLUMBIA...
26th...100 degrees, Tied Record High set in 1953 and 1926.
27th...99 degrees, Tied Record High set in 1916.
28th...101 degrees, Broke Record High of 99 set in 1914.
29th...100 degrees, Broke Record High of 98 set in 1948.



Events for May 2019...

May 4th... Strong to severe thunderstorms developed ahead of a cold
front approaching the area from the west. The front moved across the
state on the 5th. The storms produced pea size up to one inch hail
across the Midlands. The largest hail fell in Aiken County. Strong
winds downed trees and power lines in Chesterfield County. A funnel
cloud was also reported just north of the town of Chesterfield in
Chesterfield County. Strong straight line winds produced some minor
damage to a roof in Richland County.


May 11th - 12th... A cold front that stalled near the region on the
11th and 12th. This was the focus for strong to severe showers and
thunderstorms. Hail up to the 3/4 of an inch along with downed trees
were reported in Lancaster County. The storms produced strong winds
across the Midlands. The storms also produced locally heavy rainfall
across portions of central Lancaster County in western Chesterfield
County. The heavy rainfall produced flash flooding in the City of
Lancaster, where people had to be evacuated from Dalton Ridge
Apartments.

Here are some of the highest rainfall totals from Lancaster and
Chesterfield Counties:

Lancaster 0.4 WSW (CoCoRaHS)...........4.80 inches
Lancaster 2.0 NNW (CoCoRaHS)...........3.67 inches
Lancaster 7.1 ENE (CoCoRaHS)...........2.56 inches
Pageland 0.9 WNW (CoCoRaHS)............1.78 inches
Indian Land 4.7 S (CoCoRaHS)...........1.72 inches


Here are a few of the peak wind gusts that were recorded:

The USFS RAW site near Barnwell..........59 mph
The ASOS at Orangeburg County Airport....54 mph
The ASOS at Shaw AFB.....................50 mph
The North Air Force Auxiliary Field......46 mph
Columbia Hamilton-Owens Field............44 mph
Williams Brice Stadium RCWINDS Mesonet...42 mph


May 14th... Cool high pressure settled over the area behind the cold
front that finally pushed through the area on the evening of the
13th. This produced morning low temperatures in the middle to upper
40s across many locations of the Midlands and CSRA.

Here are a few of the lowest temperatures reported on the morning of
the 14th:

Cedar Crk                     45 F     0800 AM 05/14   COOP
Lake Greenwood                46 F     0830 AM 05/14   COOP
Lancaster                     46 F     0655 AM 05/14   AWOS
Lincolnton                    46 F     0800 AM 05/14   COOP
Pelion 4.7 W                  46 F     0700 AM 05/14   COCORAHS
2 ESE Saluda                  46 F     0645 AM 05/14   AWS
3 SE Ridgeway                 47 F     0649 AM 05/14   AWS
Johnston                      47 F     0700 AM 05/14   COOP
Richland Library Northeast    47 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Thomson-Mcduffie County Airp  47 F     0610 AM 05/14   AWOS
Lexington County Arpt Pelion  47 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Long Cane                     47 F     0712 AM 05/14   RAWS
Mccrady Training Center       47 F     0633 AM 05/14   RAWS
Crossroads Fire Station       47 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Little Mountain               48 F     0700 AM 05/14   COOP
Camden Woodward               48 F     0635 AM 05/14   AWOS
Newberry Sheriff Ofc          48 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Savriv                        48 F     0707 AM 05/14   RAWS
Crane Creek Fire Station      48 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
1 S Pelion                    48 F     0649 AM 05/14   AWS
Orangeburg                    48 F     0616 AM 05/14   RAWS
Dutch Fork HS                 48 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Fort Gordon                   48 F     0701 AM 05/14   RAWS
Gadsden                       48 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Dearing                       48 F     0700 AM 05/14   GAMESONET
Wagener 1SW                   48 F     0917 AM 05/14   COOP
Thurmond Dam and Lake         48 F     0715 AM 05/14   GAMESONET
Hopkins                       49 F     0700 AM 05/14   RCWINDS
Heath Springs                 49 F     0630 AM 05/14   AWS
Saluda                        49 F     0800 AM 05/14   COOP


May 16th-31st... A stubborn ridge of high pressure settled in across
the Southeast. This produced record high temperatures across the
area and many daily maximum temperature records were broken. The
combination of unseasonably hot temperatures, increased evaporation
and little to no rainfall produced a "Flash Drought" across portions
of the state, which includes the Midlands and CSRA. Additionally,
consecutive days of 100 degrees or higher broke the previous records
at several locations. Much of this information is included at the
beginning of the Public Information Statement.



YEAR TO DATE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION STATISTICS...

COLUMBIA SC METROPOLITAN AIRPORT 2018/2019 MONTHLY AVERAGE
TEMPERATURES AND DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL...

         AVG HIGH/DEP   AVG LOW/DEP   AVG TEMP    NORM  DEPARTURE
JAN 2018  55.5/-0.5      30.5/-3.2      43.0      44.8    -1.8
FEB       70.1/+9.8      49.6/+12.8     59.8      48.5   +11.3
MAR       65.8/-2.4      42.5/-0.5      54.2      55.6    -1.4
APR       75.1/-1.2      49.4/-1.0      62.3      63.4    -1.1
MAY       87.3/+1.4      66.5/+7.0      76.9      71.7    +5.2
JUN       93.8/+3.8      71.7/+3.5      82.8      79.1    +3.7
JUL       93.5/+0.8      73.5/+1.9      83.5      82.2    +1.3
AUG       92.9/+2.2      72.7/+1.7      82.8      80.8    +2.0
SEP       91.2/+6.0      72.6/+8.4      81.9      74.7    +7.2
OCT       79.6/+3.5      57.5/+5.4      68.5      64.1    +4.4
NOV       62.3/-5.0      43.2/+0.9      52.8      54.8    -2.0
DEC       58.5/+0.3      39.2/+3.9      48.8      46.7    +2.1
Annual    77.1/+1.6      55.7/+3.3      66.4      63.9    +2.5

JAN 2019  57.7/+1.7      36.3/+2.6      47.0      44.8    +2.2
FEB       65.1/+4.8      41.2/+4.4      53.2      48.5    +4.7
MAR       67.4/-0.8      42.7/+0.3      55.1      55.6    -0.5
APR       77.9/+1.6      52.7/+2.3      65.3      63.4    +1.9
MAY       89.2/+5.4      65.4/+5.9      77.3      71.7    +5.6


AUGUSTA GA BUSH FIELD 2018/2019 MONTHLY AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
AND DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL...

         AVG HIGH/DEP   AVG LOW/DEP   AVG TEMP    NORM  DEPARTURE
JAN 2018  57.1/-0.8      29.2/-3.6     43.1       45.4    -2.3
FEB       71.6/+9.3      48.4/+12.5    60.0       49.1   +10.9
MAR       67.7/-2.2      41.2/-1.4     54.5       55.9    -1.4
APR       75.1/-2.2      46.1/-2.0     60.6       62.7    -2.1
MAY       86.4/+1.4      61.5/+4.2     74.0       71.1    +2.9
JUN       92.2/+1.2      68.7/+2.5     80.5       78.6    +1.9
JUL       91.2/-2.2      70.9/+1.1     81.0       81.6    -0.6
AUG       92.4/+0.6      70.4/+1.1     81.4       80.5    +0.9
SEP       92.4/+5.7      70.4/+7.8     81.4       74.6    +6.8
OCT       80.6/+2.9      56.7/+4.3     68.7       64.4    +4.3
NOV       64.3/-4.8      43.3/+1.9     53.8       55.2    -1.4
DEC       61.1/+1.1      40.5/+6.0     50.8       47.2    +3.6
Annual    77.7/+0.8      53.9/+2.9     65.8       63.9    +1.9


JAN 2019  60.7/+2.8      37.4/+4.6     49.1       45.4    +3.7
FEB       68.4/+6.1      43.2/+7.3     55.8       49.1    +6.7
MAR       71.2/+1.3      42.8/+0.8     57.0       55.9    +1.1
APR       80.0/+2.7      52.1/+4.0     66.0       62.7    +3.3
MAY       91.0/+6.0      64.1/+6.8     77.5       71.1    +6.4


COLUMBIA SC METROPOLITAN AIRPORT 2018/2019 MONTHLY/YEARLY
PRECIPITATION...

               TOTAL   NORMAL   DEPARTURE
              (INCHES)
JAN 2018       2.42     3.58    -1.16
FEB            1.61     3.61    -2.00
MAR            2.97     3.73    -0.76
APR            3.10     2.62    +0.48
MAY            2.76     2.97    -0.21
JUN            3.45     4.69    -1.24
JUL            3.68     5.46    -1.78
AUG            3.25     5.26    -2.01
SEP            6.09     3.54    +2.55
OCT            6.36     3.17    +3.22
NOV            6.55     2.74    +3.81
DEC            7.25     3.22    +4.03
Annual        49.52    44.59    +4.93

JAN 2019       3.07     3.58    -0.57
FEB            0.88     3.61    -2.73
MAR            2.61     3.73    -1.12
APR            2.86     2.62    +0.24
MAY            2.35     2.97    -0.62

AUGUSTA GA BUSH FIELD 2018/2019 MONTHLY/YEARLY PRECIPITATION...

               TOTAL   NORMAL   DEPARTURE
              (INCHES)
JAN 2018       2.09     3.91     -1.82
FEB            1.57     3.92     -2.35
MAR            3.21     4.18     -0.97
APR            3.47     2.84     +0.63
MAY            8.21     2.65     +5.56
JUN            5.19     4.72     +0.47
JUL            3.13     4.33     -1.20
AUG            4.28     4.32     -0.04
SEP            7.19     3.22     +3.97
OCT            4.58     3.27     +1.31
NOV            5.98     2.82     +3.16
DEC            5.94     3.39     +2.55
Annual        54.84    43.57    +11.27

Jan 2019       4.40     3.91     +0.49
FEB            1.14     3.92     -2.78
MAR            2.23     4.18     -1.95
APR            3.01     2.84     +0.17
MAY            3.70     2.65     +1.05


The 3-Month Outlook for Late Spring into Summer
June/July/August)...

The outlook calls for a 40 to 50 percent chance of above normal
temperatures along with equal chances of above, below and normal
precipitation.

Go to the Climate Prediction Center web page at
www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov for more details and the latest outlooks.

ENSO (EL NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION)...
...El Nino Advisory...

El Nino conditions are present. There is an 70 percent chance that
El Nino conditions will continue through the Northern Hemisphere
summer. There is a 55 to 50 percent chance of El Nino conditions
continuing into the fall.

Climate Outlooks and ENSO Discussions courtesy of NOAA Climate
Prediction Center...www.cpc.noaa.gov .

Note...much appreciation goes out to our NWS Cooperative Weather
Observers...CoCoRaHS (Community...Collaborative...Rain...Hail and
Snow Network) Observers...South Carolina State Climate Office...
Southeast Regional Climate Center...Richland County Emergency
Services...USGS and local weather partners for the data they provide
throughout the year. Their hard work and dedication is greatly
appreciated.

Temperature records for Columbia go back to 1887 and for Augusta
back to 1873. Precipitation records for Columbia go back to 1878
and for Augusta back to 1871.

Additional climate information, including current and archived
daily and monthly summaries, can be found on the National Weather
Service Columbia SC home page at http://www.weather.gov/cae .

$$

LCV