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Charleston, SC Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes

 
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The chance of earthquake damage in Charleston is higher than South Carolina average and is lower than the national average. The risk of tornado damage in Charleston is lower than South Carolina average and is lower than the national average.

Topics:Earthquake IndexVolcano IndexTornado IndexOther Weather Extremes EventsVolcanos NearbyHistorical Earthquake EventsHistorical Tornado Events

Earthquake Index, #18

Charleston, SC
1.47
South Carolina
0.49
U.S.
1.81

The earthquake index value is calculated based on historical earthquake events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the earthquake level in a region. A higher earthquake index value means a higher chance of an earthquake.

Volcano Index, #1

Charleston, SC
0.0000
South Carolina
0.0000
U.S.
0.0023

The volcano index value is calculated based on the currently known volcanoes using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the possibility of a region being affected by a possible volcano eruption. A higher volcano index value means a higher chance of being affected.

Tornado Index, #429

Charleston, SC
89.68
South Carolina
136.91
U.S.
136.45

The tornado index value is calculated based on historical tornado events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the tornado level in a region. A higher tornado index value means a higher chance of tornado events.

Other Weather Extremes Events

A total of 2,095 other weather extremes events within 50 miles of Charleston, SC were recorded from 1950 to 2010. The following is a break down of these events:

TypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCount
Avalanche:0Blizzard:0Cold:2Dense Fog:0Drought:21
Dust Storm:0Flood:209Hail:654Heat:14Heavy Snow:5
High Surf:5Hurricane:3Ice Storm:3Landslide:0Strong Wind:14
Thunderstorm Winds:1,065Tropical Storm:7Wildfire:1Winter Storm:0Winter Weather:0
Other:92 

Volcanos Nearby

No volcano is found in or near Charleston, SC.

Historical Earthquake Events

A total of 1 historical earthquake event that had a recorded magnitude of 3.5 or above found in or near Charleston, SC.

Distance (miles)DateMagnitudeDepth (km)LatitudeLongitude
12.41974-11-224.71832.9-80.15

Historical Tornado Events

A total of 7 historical tornado events that had recorded magnitude of 2 or above found in or near Charleston, SC.

Distance (miles)DateMagnitudeStart Lat/LogEnd Lat/LogLengthWidthFatalitiesInjuriesProperty DamageCrop DamageAffected County
3.51960-09-11332°47'N / 79°50'W32°48'N / 79°59'W8.80 Miles100 Yards0102.5M0Charleston
3.61964-08-29232°48'N / 79°54'W1.00 Mile67 Yards023K0Charleston
12.82008-05-11232°41'N / 80°12'W32°40'N / 80°00'W12.00 Miles1760 Yards001.2M0KCharleston
 Brief Description: EVENT NARRATIVE: A confirmed EF-2 Tornado initially touched down along Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw Island, where minor damage was observed. The damage at the initial touchdown location was confined to several trees getting sheared off near the base or twisted to the ground. The Tornado then traveled east and crossed the Maybank Highway on Wadmalaw Island where major damage was observed. The majority of the damage occurred on the 4800 block of Maybank Highway, where nearly all the trees in the path of the Tornado were twisted to the ground or sheared off near the base. Numerous homes were damaged as the Tornado ripped through, with many sustaining roof and shingle damage. In fact, two homes had a section of there roofs detached and hurled approximately 50 to 100 feet away from the residences. A detached garage also sustained damage, when the suction from the Tornado caused the garage door to get buckled inward into the garage itself, and portions of the tin roof was ripped away and displaced 50 to 75 feet from the garage. A cinder block wall on another home sustained severe damage when a large section of cinder blocks was torn from the wall and hurled into the home. Additionally, a chain link fence around the residence was ripped off and displaced 20 to 30 feet from the supporting poles which held the fence in place. Another home sustained severe damage, as the front porch of the residence was detached and tossed 100 to 150 feet. The same home had the roof lifted 2 to 3 inches from the supporting walls, and a large window curtain was actually pulled upward and into the attic as the Tornado moved through. Quite a bit of damage was also observed in the Long Creek Plantation subdivision, where significant tree damage was observed along with several homes sustaining some minor roof damage. The Tornado then moved onto Johns Island and crossed Bohicket Road. Moderate damage was observed as it moved through this area of Johns Island. The majority of the damage was confined to trees being sheared off near the base or twisted to the ground. Several homes did sustain some minor roof damage as shingles were lifted and displaced from the residences. Minor damage was observed on River Road when the Tornado weakened before lifting just south of the Charleston Executive Airport. The damage along River Road was confined primarily to several downed trees. A tin roof of a shed sustained minor damage as well, as it lifted slightly but remained intact. The Maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 120 mph with this Tornado. The total path length was 12 miles, with a path width of 1 mile when it crossed Maybank Highway and six tenths of a mile when it crossed Bohicket Road. Although significant damage occurred, no injuries were reported. EPISODE NARRATIVE: A warm front lifted northward through southern South Carolina and southeast Georgia during the morning, with a strong cold front then sweeping through the area during the evening. This resulted in several rounds of severe weather across the region.
14.31998-05-10233°01'N / 80°07'W32°59'N / 80°02'W10.00 Miles666 Yards175.0M0Berkeley
 Brief Description: After two brief earler touchdowns in Dorchester County, the supercell crossed Interstate 26 into Berkeley County where the most extensive damage occurred. There were 442 homes damaged (17 destroyed, 113 major damage, and the remainder had minor damage. Areas hardest hit were Frankie Lane and Royale Road, where numerous mobile homes were located. There was a 90 year old female who was injured severely when her mobile home was flipped and throuwn more than 40 feet. She died several hours later. Several eye witnesses reported seeing vortices rotating around the main funnel. This fact was born out by the damage pattern in several areas. F90MH
27.51998-09-03233°11'N / 80°00'W33°15'N / 79°57'W7.00 Miles430 Yards092.8M0Berkeley
 Brief Description: Seventy-three (73) homes were damaged, fourteen mobile homes destroyed and seven (7) homes destroyed. The Fairlawn sobdivision, just southeast of Moncks corner was hardest hit.
41.01998-09-03232°21'N / 80°26'W32°26'N / 80°28'W15.00 Miles75 Yards14360K0Beaufort
 Brief Description: Thirteen homes were destroyed and another thirteen were heavily damaged, most of them were mobile homes. One mobile home was flipped in the air and smashed to the ground where a 66 -year old female was crushed to death. Numerous trees were snapped off 5 to 15 feet above the ground with others uprooted. The worse of the damage was concentrated in an area approximately 2.5 to 3 miles long across Fripp Island to near Morgan Island. The tornado then crossed the St Helena Sound and moved into Colleton County. F66MH
49.41998-03-08233°23'N / 80°27'W33°27'N / 80°24'W5.00 Miles100 Yards00220K0Orangeburg
 Brief Description: An F2 tornado did major damage to a horse farm and race track. Several of the horses were injured. Debris from the horse farm was found as far as 3 miles away. Major damage was also done to a home and a couple of mobile homes. Minor damage was also done to a couple of mobile and permanent homes.


* The information on this page is based on the global volcano database, the U.S. earthquake database of 1638-1985, and the U.S. Tornado and Weather Extremes database of 1950-2010.


 
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