Afternoon thunderstorms to continue
We might have a break from afternoon thunderstorms Monday, but it won’t last long, says a meteorologist from the National Weather Service.
Storms are expected this weekend, and through much of next week, said meteorologist Brett Cimbora.
Afternoon thunderstorms are common this time of year. “They are always possible,” he said. “They usually run through August and taper off in September.”
What’s different this year, Cimbora said, is that the afternoon storms began in April, which is early for such weather activity. And the storms got more intense in July. Afternoon storms usually don’t begin until June or July, Cimbora said.
Vern Beaver, another meteorologist from the National Weather Service, said we have storms this time of year because it’s the hottest and most humid time of the year.
And they happen in the afternoon because it’s the hottest time of the day. “The combination of heat and humidity are the ingredients for the thunderstorms,” Beaver said.
But all the recent storms have put only a small a dent in the drought, Cimbora said.
Even though there have been many storms, they haven’t lasted long and didn’t produce the sustained kind of rain that seeps into the ground.
In July, he said, the area was in a moderate to severe drought. But now, “we’re hovering around abnormally dry to moderate.”
Area lakes and rivers remain low as well.
Lake Marion was at 74.49 feet Wednesday, according to the most recent data available. The “full pool” level is 76.8 feet. And Lake Moultrie was at 74.42 feet Wednesday; full level is 75.5 feet.
Water levels also remain low in many of the state’s rivers. In the Lowcountry, the Edisto River at Givhans Ferry was at 2.53 feet Thursday, according to the most recent data available. The full river level is 10 feet.
Afternoon rains also are increasing the numbers of mosquitoes that breed in backyards, said Donna Odom, Charleston County’s mosquito superintendent. “Afternoon storms produce just enough rain to fill flower pots and containers in yards,” she said. “A lot of the calls we get now, we find they’ve been breeding their own mosquitoes.”
Charleston County’s overall mosquito conditions, however, have taken a turn for the better in recent days, Odom said.
County staffers worked around the clock spraying from the air and from trucks, she said. But they need the public to get involved in solving the problem. “We need people to help us with problems in yards so we can focus on the large areas.”
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.