Recap: Summer 2013

Some people may just watch football highlights on a September Sunday. I try to take it a step above. Football highlights…plus climate data. Yeap.

Meteorological summer began June 1 and ended August 31. However, the autumnal (fall) equinox isn’t until September 22 at 4:44 p.m. EDT. Thus, it’s time to look back at what summer 2013 had to offer at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE).

Temperature at CAE:

The summer months were slightly cooler when compared to “normal” for the Midlands of South Carolina. The average high temperature was 88.0°F (-3.1°), or the 3rd coldest on record (period of record since 1948 at CAE). The average low temperature was 71.3°F (+1.0°), or tied for the 4th warmest on record. The average temperature (between the lows and highs) was 79.7°F (-1.1°).

We only saw 38 days at 90° or above compared to 54 in the summer of 2012.


As you can imagine our rainfall this summer kept the grass green and the rivers and lakes happy. This summer we saw 24.89″ of rain (+9.48″) which is the 5th wettest on record at CAE. We normally see 15.41″ of rain throughout the entire summer. The highest daily rainfall was August 16th (4.38″), which happened to be the day with our lowest high temperature of the summer at 70°F (yes…in August).

It should be noted that, so far, since January 1st at CAE, we have seen 51.8″ (+7.31″). Our average yearly rainfall at CAE is 47.22″. Yay for no drought.

Here is a closer look at the number of days we saw rain at CAE. One must remember this data is for Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Rain could have fallen in other parts of the Midlands.

Rain Days at CAE Summer 2013

0.01” or Greater


No Rain




46% 15%



Rain Days at CAE Summer 2012 (rain total 20.95″)

0.01” or Greater


No Rain







 Notable Stats for Summer 2013 at CAE:

  • Highest maximum temperature: 96°F (June 12, 13…August 11, 12, 13, 29)
  • Lowest maximum temperature: 70°F (August 16th)
  • July 2013 average high temp. of 88.4°F was coolest since 1975
  • August 2013 average high temp. of 87.6°F was the 5th coolest on record
  • No 100°F days reported in the entire state of South Carolina
  • Highest maximum temperature in state of South Carolina: 99°F in Bennettsville and Hartsville
  • Last year when no S.C. reporting site reached 100°F May through July: 2003 (now 2013)
  • Last year when no S.C. reporting site reached 100°F May through October: 1973 (still waiting on this one)
  • Early June saw Tropical Storm Andrea pass through southern South Carolina

Going Forward:

The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn’t end until the end of November. The climatological peak of hurricane season is September 10th. We haven’t seen a hurricane yet in the Atlantic basin. Typically, we see the first one by August 10th (based on data from 1966-2009). We have had six named storms so far this season. Any tropical cyclone that came near South Carolina would give us even more rainfall.

peakofseason(Source: NOAA/NHC)

Also, our average high temperature at CAE drops to 85.2°F for the month of September and we will continue to be thankful we haven’t seen that 113°F day like last year on June 29th in Columbia. #hot

I hope you enjoyed your last day of meteorological summer on Saturday. I did! Got to see the first ever football game for my alma mater, UNC Charlotte (Yes, they have meteorology there). They defeated Campbell 52-7 and scored 46-seconds into the game with an INT. Go Niners!



Data sources for this post include NOAA/NWS, SERCC, SC Climate Office, and NHC.

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