A prediction of an unusually high tide linked to the close orbit of the moon has Charleston officials warning drivers to be on the lookout for standing water as they make their way downtown Monday morning.
The high tide is expected to crest at nearly 7 feet at 8:52 a.m. Monday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The high tide peaked Sunday night at 7.41 feet, the National Weather Service in Charleston reported.
The Charleston Police Department issued an advisory Sunday warning motorists to pay attention for possible flooding while driving in low-lying areas Monday morning. The department did not identify specific areas of concern.
Charles Francis, spokesman for the Charleston Police Department, said "localized and unpredictable rain showers" in combination with the high tide made it difficult to predict where flooding may occur.
"We consider all low-lying areas to be at risk," Francis said. "Obviously the greatest impact to the morning commute would be if the Crosstown flooded."
Lockwood Drive is another such flood-prone roadway.
The higher-than-normal tide is the result of a phenomenon known as the perigean spring tides, which is linked to the orbit of the moon. Sunday marked the second of three supermoons this summer when the moon is at perigee, the point in its orbit closest to Earth.
Rain pelted the Lowcountry Sunday afternoon with as much as 3 to 4 inches falling in parts of North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Dorchester County. A new rainfall record of 4.02 inches for the date was set at the Charleston International Airport Sunday, nearly doubling the previous record of 2.1 inches, said Michael Emlaw, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Monday morning is expected to start off partly sunny, Emlaw said, with a 60 percent chance of rain expected in the afternoon. Another several inches of rain could be dumped on parts of the area, he said.