SEWE organizers watching the weather

ABC News 4 meteorologist Tom Crawford, right, interviews animal expert Jack Hanna at a 2012 SEWE kickoff event. (WCIV)

By Tom

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Take a busy weekend in downtown Charleston and add another 25,000-30,000 people to that number. Now you have the Southeastern Wildlife Expo (SEWE).

Imagine you have a job and work all year long for just three good days -- three good days of good weather.

That's what the six full-time employees of SEWE do.

Two years ago, a snow fall of 2.5 inches fell in downtown Charleston on the Friday of the event. It was a difficult day financially for SEWE. Saturday was a blessing, the sun came out and melted all the snow. It was a near disaster.

Jimmy Huggins, who is the CEO of SEWE, and his group look for weather that is not raining, not too hot and not too cold. Their idea of the best weather for the 3-day event needs to be partly to mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 40s to mid 60s. Rain should not even be a thought, as it keeps people inside and away from the vendors

SEWE normally takes place the mid weekend in February in downtown Charleston, and this year, the celebration of wildlife is already it full swing. It's running from February 17-19. Artists and sculptors from around the world participate in the expo, known as the biggest wildlife event in the U.S.

Artists and vendors are there to sell and hope great weather will bring those attending SEWE to buy. It's an investment that must pay off. Tens of millions of dollars will be spent this weekend on SEWE -- hotel rooms, restaurants and works of art.

The SEWE weather is expected to be great on Friday with upper 60s to around 70. Saturday will see increasing clouds and a good chance for showers, mainly in the afternoon. Hopefully the showers will hold off long enough to allow those attending wildlife to enjoy it without the rain. A few showers may linger into Sunday morning, which may stifle those attending until the afternoon.

Let's hope mother nature will help SEWE this year.

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