Tornado Watch Issued for Upstate and Lowcountry
Update March 18, 2021 at 2:10 PM EDT: A new Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of the Upstate until 6:00 PM EDT.
The following counties are included within the watch area: Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Lancaster, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union, and York.
Strong thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes will continue to be possible through the rest of Thursday afternoon and into the evening.
The Tornado Watch for portions of the Lowcountry continues until 6:00PM EDT.
Update March 18, 2021 at 11:45 PM EDT: A Tornado Watch has been issued for parts of the Lowcountry until 6:00PM EDT.
The following counties are under the watch area: Allendale, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton, and Jasper. This includes the cities of Hilton Head, Beaufort, Allendale, and Charleston.
A few storms will have the potential to produce damaging straight line winds, hail, which could be large, and a few tornadoes.
It is recommended that residents have multiple ways to receive weather alerts this afternoon and evening. If a Tornado Warning is issued for your area the safest place to be is in a basement or an interior room with no windows. Put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
Update March 18, 2021 morning: Strong to severe thunderstorms are still in the forecast over the Palmetto State today. Tornadoes and damaging winds are possible anywhere in the state, but the greatest threat appears to have shifted to the Pee Dee, Grand Strand, and Lowcountry later this afternoon.
Showers and thunderstorms over the Upstate and North Georgia are expected to gradually intensify this morning. The strongest storms will be near or over the Upstate between 11 AM and 2 PM. Additional thunderstorms should develop thanks to a boost from daytime heating. Thunderstorms are likely to be in the Midlands between Noon and 4 PM, and over the Lowcountry, Pee Dee, and Grand Strand between 3 and 8 PM.
Strong wind shear is the reason why any storm that develops in the state could rotate; however, the most unstable air is expected to reside over the eastern half of the state. This is the reason why there has been a shift in the greatest storm threat. Residents in the Midlands and Upstate should understand that there still is a risk of dangerous weather and remain on guard for tornadoes or damaging winds today.
The cold front is expected to move offshore after sunset, which will end the possibility of severe weather throughout the state.