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Update: Strong Front To Deliver Gusty Storms And Chilly Blast To The State

Wednesday's Storm Outlook

Update as of 7 AM Wednesday:

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center upgraded much of the state from a level 1 (marginal risk) to a level 2 (slight risk) for severe thunderstorms today. The level 2 typically means scattered reports of wind damage are possible, in contrast to a level 1 risk, where the reports are forecast to be spotty and fewer in number.

Locally heavy rain is a good bet along and ahead of the line of storms. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the mountains of Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville counties through Wednesday evening, where 2 to 3 inches of rain is possible. One-half to 1 inch of rain is likely across most of the northern half of the state, with lesser amounts in the Lowcountry.

Original Article Published Tuesday Afternoon:
The relative mild stretch of recent weeks is about to be replaced by a sharp cool down Thursday and Friday. An interlude of gusty thunderstorms may accompany the change Wednesday afternoon and evening.

A large ridge of high pressure over Florida is expected to extend its influence into the Palmetto State on Wednesday. Highs are likely to exceed 70 degrees over almost the entire state, and the Midlands, Lowcountry, and Pee Dee should top out into the lower 80s before a strong cold front arrives.

Showers are possible ahead of the front over the Upstate as soon as Thursday morning, but computer models suggest a line of thunderstorms will move across the state from the Midlands late Thursday afternoon before reaching the coast around or shortly before midnight. The amount of wind shear and unstable, humid air may be conducive for a few of the thunderstorms to produce damaging wind gusts as they move through. However, the environment is not likely to favor widespread damaging gusts based on data available Tuesday afternoon.

A gusty northwest wind will send much colder temperatures into the state on Thursday and Friday. Much of the state should experience highs in the 50s Thursday and Friday afternoons. Lows on Friday and Saturday mornings are likely to be cold enough for a freeze away from the coast. Record lows are most likely Friday morning, ranging from the mid 20s in the mountains to the lower and mid 30s in the Midlands, Pee Dee, and Lowcountry. Afternoon highs near Myrtle Beach and Charleston on Friday may be cool enough to set records also.

Areas of frost and freezing temperatures are possible once again Saturday morning. A gradual warming trend is expected this upcoming weekend as the air mass modifies.