Excessive Heat and Strong Storms Start the Weekend in South Carolina
High heat and humidity -- even by sultry South Carolina standards -- will open up the weekend. It may even contribute to the formation of a few strong thunderstorms over parts of the state.
A sprawling ridge of high pressure extending from Colorado to Georgia and South Carolina will be responsible for the heat. The National Weather Service issued heat advisories and warnings from Nebraska eastward to the Carolinas in response to the expected heatwave. Temperatures are expected to be well into the 90s but the humidity will make it feel like it is 115 degrees in places near the Gulf coast.
An Excessive Heat Advisory covered a large chunk of South Carolina from Abbeville and Greenwood counties eastward to the Midlands from Columbia and south. The advisories also stretched into the Pee Dee and Grand Strand. The heat index could reach 110 degrees within the advisory area Friday afternoon.
Even higher humidity is forecast in the Lowcountry, where an Excessive Heat Warning is in effect. The heat index in Berkeley and Charleston counties southwestward into Beaufort and Jasper counties was expected to top out between 112 and 117 degrees -- some of the hottest in the nation -- on Friday afternoon.
The heat can be quite dangerous, especially to the elderly, very young, and those with chronic health conditions. Heat stroke can develop quickly among these groups and it is highly recommended those in the advisory and especially the warning areas spend time in air conditioned areas as much as possible Friday.
Another round of hot weather is likely Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures are forecast to be well into the 90s with the heat index likely exceeding 105 degrees in many places. Excessive Heat Advisories and/or Warnings may be needed again.
There are some areas that may see some relief from the heat in the form of thunderstorms. One or two storms may produce strong winds from the Upstate to northern Midlands late Friday afternoon, but the storms are not likely to be widespread. A stronger front has a better chance of triggering storms from the Grand Strand to the coast Sunday afternoon or evening.
The front is also likely to put a dent in the heat over the state by Monday. Afternoon high temperatures are likely to return to the 80s thanks to the front and clouds and showers around the state.