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Strong Storms Sunday Then Temperature Plunge

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The first storm system of 2022 is on its way to our area, and it will likely push strong thunderstorms across our state throughout the day on Sunday.

On Saturday, several surface lows dotted the Rocky Mountain West where higher in the atmosphere, a strong trough of low pressure was already present. Hazardous conditions- heavy snow in the Upper Plains and torrential rain in the mid-Mississippi Valley- stretched across the country. The system is expected to continue propagating eastward Saturday night and Sunday, and a line of strong thunderstorms should develop as upper level energy collides with warm and humid atmosphere over the Southeastern United States.

A broken of strong thunderstorms will likely track from the Tennessee Valley eastward into the Upstate on Sunday morning. By the afternoon, the line should approach the Columbia metro area in the midlands. It is from this time onward that storms within the line could intensify and have the greatest chance of producing damaging straight line winds and isolated tornadoes. By the evening, the squall line should cross the I-95 corridor and exit off the Atlantic Coast.

A second batch of rain is possible across the entire Palmetto State overnight Sunday into Monday, as the base of the mid level trough swoops through the Carolinas. Periods of heavy rain and a few isolated wind gusts are also possible from this second round of storms.

Temperatures are expected to plunge behind the system, as northwesterly winds direct cold air from higher latitudes into the Southeast. Afternoon highs on Monday are forecasted to be 20 - 30 degrees colder than Saturday afternoon, and a freeze is likely by Tuesday morning.