Active Weather Returns To The Palmetto State This Week
Early April was one of the driest on record in South Carolina, but the first week of May will begin with spring-like thunderstorms.
An unseasonably humid air mass will spread northward from the Gulf coast states, creating an unstable environment.
Scattered thunderstorms were occurring Monday morning over the Midlands and Upstate. They are expected to strengthen during the early and mid afternoon hours near the I-85 corridor before spreading eastward into the Midlands and a portion of the Pee Dee late this afternoon and around evening drive time. The storms may make it all the way to the coast around or shortly after sunset.
The greatest risk for a few damaging wind gusts and hail is over the Upstate, Midlands, and the Pee Dee. An isolated report of wind damage or hail is also possible along the Grand Strand and Lowcountry this evening, but the threat of severe weather is lower toward the coast. Isolated pockets of flash flooding are possible with any thunderstorm, but the Upstate area is favored to see the greatest rain amounts over the widest area.
Another round of thunderstorms is likely Tuesday afternoon, arriving first in the Upstate and spreading to the Midlands during the mid and late afternoon before reaching the coastal areas Tuesday evening. The air is forecast to be unstable enough for strong storms over the state, but the strongest wind shear is most likely over the Upstate and parts of the Midlands. For this reason, the western half of the state has the best chance of seeing strong, damaging winds from the afternoon storms, with somewhat lower chances toward the coast.
An approaching cold front may be the catalyst for one final round of strong to locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday. If strong storms occur, the greatest chances are likely over the eastern half of the state, where the most unstable air and wind shear are likely to be located.
Drier weather is forecast to return Thursday into the upcoming weekend.