Tornado Watch Issued For The Upstate Until Tuesday Evening
Update as of 11:15am Tuesday:
A Tornado Watch is in effect until 7pm for much of the Upstate and a portion of the western Midlands. The watch includes Clemson, Anderson, Greenvile, and Spartanburg areas. It extends eastward to Rock Hill, Newberry, and Saluda counties, and southward into Edgefield county.
The center of Tropical Depression Fred is moving through Georgia and it will move into the central Appalachian mountains Tuesday night. Isolated tornadoes are possible with the rain bands anywhere in the watch area until 7pm. The rain bands are expected to diminish by around midnight. Leftover bands are possible near the South Carolina coast, east of Interstate 95, late Tuesday night into Wednesday, with occasional downpours and pockets of flash flooding.
Flash Flood Watches continue in effect for much of the Upstate until Wednesday morning.
Original story from 9:00am Tuesday:
Rain bands from what is now Tropical Depression Fred will rotate through the state today, producing areas of flash flooding and isolated tornadoes.
Fred made landfall as a tropical storm with 65 mph winds near Cape San Blas in the Florida Panhandle around 3:15pm Eastern Time on Monday. It weakened to a depression early Monday morning on its way through Georgia. Fred is expected to move northward through the southern and central Appalachian mountains Tuesday and Tuesday night.
Bands far removed from Fred were affecting parts of the Lowcountry, Pee Dee, and Grand Strand areas Tuesday morning with downpours and brief wind gusts to 40 mph along the coastal waters of Georgetown and Charleston counties. The primary band attached to Fred was located from Athens to Dublin, GA and it is that band that will move to near Augusta, Greenwood, Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg between 9 o'clock and noon Tuesday.
Additional bands are likely to form with daytime heating over the Upstate and Midlands Tuesday afternoon. Strong winds in the lowest few thousand feet of the atmosphere, combined with the moist and unstable air, are favorable for brief tornadoes especially along and west of Interstate 20. Residents in these areas, in particular, should have ways to receive tornado warnings since tornadoes associated with tropical weather systems can spin up rapidly.
Flash Flood Watches are in effect until Wednesday morning for much of the Upstate region. Rainfall amounts of 4 to 7 inches are forecast, with isolated maximum amounts as high as 10 inches in areas of higher terrain. These rainfall amounts are capable of producing significant flash flooding. The remainder of the state is likely to receive between one-half and 2 inches of rain, but locally higher amounts are likely in strong thunderstorms where flash flooding can also occur.
Heavy rain and isolated tornadoes are possible until about midnight Tuesday evening. A few residual rain bands with downpours are possible on Wednesday in the north Midlands and also along and east of Interstate 95; however, conditions should significantly improve over much of the state Wednesday into Thursday as Fred moves away.