The First Month of Hurricane Season: June in Review

Screenshot 2020-06-19 at 3.04.05 PM

Tropical Storm Bertha:

While Bertha formed, made landfall, and died in the course of a few May hours, it brought impacts to the Charleston area. On May 27, Tropical Storm Bertha was decalred a tropical cyclone due to radar imagery showing a central core and buoy observations indicating strong winds. Bertha was named at 8:30 AM, made landfall at 9:30 AM, and was lowered to a tropical depression at 2:00 PM. Heavy rain of two to three inches fell over portions of Charleston and Berkeley Counties. Maximum sustained winds were pegged at 50mph, but land observations only recorded minimal tropical storm force gusts of 40-45mph. There was almost no impact from Bertha south of Charleston.

Tropical Storm Cristobal:

Tropical Storm Cristobal formed on June 2nd in the Bay of Campeche. Cristobal was the earliest third named storm on record, which was previoously held by Colin in 2016. While early model runs predicted Cristobal to strengthen into a hurricane on approach to Louisiana, land interaction with Mexico disrupted the storm. Cristobal still managed to bring damaging flash flooding to the Central Gulf Coast and Mexico. A four foot storm surge flooded the coastline in Eastern Louisiana. Amazingly, Cristobal (and its predecessor Amanda) brought up to 40 inches of rain to Central America. Damages from this flash flooding may lead to the retirement of Cristobal if the affected counties ask for it.

Record Cold:

From June 14th to June 17th, most of South Carolina was treated to well below normal temperatures due to a lingering upper level low pressure system. High pressure to the north of the low pressure cut off the vorticity from the parent trough, leading to sustained cool and wet weather. Charleston recorded record cool maximum temperatures, up to six inches of rain fell along the coastline, and some locations remained in the 60s for more than 24 hours. Cool stretches such as this have occured in previous Junes, but rarely this late in the month. Outside of this event, temperatures in the LowCountry have been mild this year. The lower 90s have been the temperature cap so far this year.

RAMMB image of the cut off low on 06/17/2020.
RAMMB image of the cut off low on 06/17/2020.

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