2012 through a meteorologist's eyes

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's hard to believe another year has come and gone here in the Lowcountry. One thing guaranteed to change on a regular basis is the weather. Here are some of the highlights from 2012.

It was a very mild winter. We had four record highs in January and February. On Jan. 9, we hit 78. On Feb. 5, 23, and 24, we hit 81.

On Feb. 24, the warm air that resulted in a record high also served as an ingredient for severe weather. An EF-1 tornado was confirmed three miles southeast of Islandton, S.C. There were no fatalities or injuries, but there was substantial damage. The winds, estimated between 85 to 90 mph, caused roof damage on at least three mobile homes, snapped several power poles, and uprooted or snapped over 30 trees.

The spring was fairly quiet, but the summer was a scorcher. There was a hot streak of 90+ high temperatures from June 28 to July 29.

There were three consecutive days of severe weather on July 27, 28 and 29. Strong, damaging winds knocked numerous trees down all across the Lowcountry.

Hurricane season started a little early with Tropical Storm Alberto, which remained offshore. Tropical Storm Beryl moved across the area in late May, but didn't bring too much wet weather to the area.

On Aug. 1, an EF-0 tornado touched down briefly on Kiawah Island but did not cause any damage or injuries.

Waterspouts were reported off Edisto Beach on Aug. 24, but they never moved over land.

There was major flooding on Aug. 28 courtesy of Hurricane Isaac. Even though the storm made landfall on the Gulf coast, it pumped lots of Gulf moisture into the area. Parts of Charleston County received anywhere from 2 to 7 inches.

Hurricane Sandy had impacts on the Lowcountry even though it passed hundreds of miles offshore. It only brought some rain to the area, but there were strong wind gusts up to 40 mph inland. One offshore buoy reported a 58 mph wind gust.

The winter has been fairly mild with 20 days of 70+ temperatures: 7 days in November and 13 days in December.

The year has been dry with a deficit of over 7 inches. Most of the area will finish off the year being classified as abnormally dry, but parts of Colleton, Dorchester, and Beaufort counties are considered to be in a moderate drought.