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Year-End Storm Threat

Strong storms and damaging winds are possible over the Palmetto State tonight night and Thursday, as a cold front traverses the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Low pressure developed on the eastern side of the Rockies Tuesday and moved into the Great Lakes region. By early Wednesday, a powerful cold front extended from this low pressure center into the Deep South. The boundary is expected to continue on a slow east-southeastward track through the end of the week and winds it's vicinity are expected to increase the chance for severe thunderstorms over the Southeastern United States.

A few rounds of storms are expected over the Palmetto state, beginning in the Upstate late Wednesday night. The severe risk will propagate eastward, reaching the I-77 corridor by sunrise. A second batch of strong thunderstorms is possible during the afternoon as the cold front pushes east of the Midlands and into the Lowcountry.

The main hazards from these storms, will likely be damaging wind gusts. However, models indicate that moderate wind shear could be available to provide an element of "spin" to the thunderstorms: Therefore small hail and even a brief tornado cannot be ruled out of the forecast. This potential is highest over the Upstate where wind shear is forecast to be highest.

The frontal boundary responsible for the storm risk is expected to linger over the Tennessee Valley over the next few days. Therefore, thunderstorms will remain in the forecast for the Southeast through at least New Year's Day.