New state weather record confirmed

The site that holds the new all-time state maximum temperature record.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- An 87-year-old state weather record finally falls.

The new state all-time maximum temperature record is now 113°F. This temperature was observed June 29, 2012 at the USC Coopertive Observer site in Columbia.

The previous record was 111°F set back on September 4, 1925 at Blackville. It was tied again on September 8, 1925 at Calhoun Falls and June 27, 1954 at Camden.

Many were wondering why it took nearly six months to complete the investigation to confirm if the high temperature was correct.

South Carolina State Climatologist Dr. Hope Mizzell said, "There is a process involved to be able to verify, especially such an extreme observation."

That process confirms or denies that a sensor's recording fits the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) requirements.

The investigation team had to look at the surrounding environment to make sure the instruments were not too close to a building, black top pavement, trees, or any obstructions.

A month and a half later, after a thorough investigation, a joint 64-page report was produced by the South Carolina State Climatology Office and a representative from the National Weather Service in Columbia.

The report was sent to a State Climate Extremes Committee for their review. That committee was made up of representatives from the National Weather Service Eastern Region Office, the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the National Climatic Data Center, the South Carolina State Climatology Office, and the National Weather Service in Columbia.

On October 15 each of those representatives got a vote to determine if the observation was recommended to be official and therefore be a new state all-time record.

The final step was to send the committees approval to Thomas Karl, the Director of NCDC, for his stamp of approval. That approval was made public on December 18th.

"It's our responsibility to verify the integrity of that observation," said Mizzell.

WACH Fox was told that an unofficial DHEC temperature sensor, colocated at the USC COOP site, helped to verify the official observation of 113°F.

Despite a rather warm end to June 2012, the month acutally was 1.6°F below the long-term average at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Columbia Metropolitan Airport recorded a high temperature of 109°F which is that observation site's new maximum temperature record.

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