National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Charleston, SC
5777 South Aviation Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29406-6162
The Charleston National Weather Service Forecast Office has forecast and warning responsibility for
portions of southern South Carolina and southeast Georgia as well as a portion of the Atlantic
coastal waters from South Santee River in South Carolina to the Altamaha River in Georgia, including Charleston Harbor. Note that we only have warning
responsibility for AMZ370 and therefore do not issue routine forecasts for those waters. Various
public, marine, aviation, fire weather, hydrologic, and climate products, along with severe weather warnings, are issued daily. A complete list of products can
be found here. The office is also involved in many other programs such as those listed below.
The NWS Cooperative Observer Program has a long history.
The observations, which mainly consist of temperature and precipitation, help forecasters especially since many are located in
rural areas where most of the larger observational networks are not located. Click here
to view a map of our cooperative observers.
Contact us by phone at 843-554-4851 during normal business hours Monday through Friday if
you would like an office tour. We normally conduct school tours for 5th grade and higher. We also can give weather
presentations at your school, business, or civic club.
SKYWARNTM Spotter Network
Despite advancements in our observing systems, an accurate real-time severe weather report is
invaluable to forecasters. If you would like to assist us and become a trained weather spotter, check out our
SKYWARNTM spotter page!
We release a helium-filled
weather balloon at 6 AM and 6 PM LST
(Local Standard Time) each day. The balloon carries a small battery-powered radiosonde which collects
weather data as it rises to around 20 miles above the earth's surface. When the balloon bursts it has
expanded to the size of a room in a house. A parachute then carries the re-usable
instrument back to the surface. Ground equipment at our office tracks a radio frequency
sent by the radiosonde so that we may get a vertical cross section of pressure, humidity,
and temperature measurements. The ground equipment also computes wind speed and direction
at various heights. This is done by calculating the radiosonde's change
in position with time relative to the ground station. A computer codes the upper air data
and it is sent to a national supercomputer in Washington, D.C. for input to the NWS forecast models.
With a worldwide network of three-dimensional upper air observations,
weather forecasts can be produced for periods up to 7 days into the future.