It’s hard to believe a decade is coming to an end, and while our weather here in the Lowcountry has mainly been nice on a day to day basis- there are certainly some weather events that stick out for their intensity, coverage, or rarity.
It’s those criteria that we have judged for this list: how many were impacted, the length and possible danger of those impacts, and finally how unusual these types of weather events are here on the South Carolina coast.
12.) Monster Hail in Berkeley County
“When we went through the list we kinda had to remember that one, but the fact that we had very large hail- tennis ball sized hail,” Rob Fowler said.
Hail of this size usually only occurs in the Central and Western US but by the late evening of April 19, 2011 a potent storm moved into western Berkeley County, dropping quarter to tennis ball sized hail in Pineville, St. Stephen, and Bonneau.
11.) The Johns Island Tornado
Tornadoes are rare in the Lowcountry- especially ones this strong. September 25th, 2015 an EF-2 tornado with max winds near 130 mph carved a nearly 7 mile path through the island.
“That was a waterspout that had dissipated and re-energized on the coast and moved into Johns Island. I went out there the next day and was very surprised at the level of damage.”
Rob continued, “if that path shifted 50 yards to the left or to the west, it would’ve gone through a neighborhood of single family homes.”
Thankfully damage was limited to trees and structures, including a portion of a roof thrown nearly 150 yards away.
10.) Good Friday Storm Outbreak
On April 19th, 2019 the Lowcountry saw the tail end of a multi-day severe weather outbreak that stretched across the southeast.
Meteorologists knew the weather that week was going to be hairy. Our area was highlighted in a 4 out of 5 risk for severe weather by the Storm Prediction Center. That afternoon a strong squall line moved in from the west and resulted in numerous reports of wind damage to trees and buildings.
Thankfully no injuries were reported here, but there were several fatalities with this system outside of our area.
9.) Extreme May Heat
“Going into May of 2019 our all time record high was 99 degrees, we never hit a hundred in May and then what was amazing is that we didn’t do it once, not twice, not three times, but 4 times back to back to back.”
This extreme heat further worsened a drought afflicting most of the southeast as the brutal temperatures continued past Memorial day into the end of the month. May of 2019 easily became the hottest May on record.
Check back tomorrow for #8 – 5, then New Year’s Eve for the final four Lowcountry weather events that made headlines this decade.
Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson