Severe Storms Possible Friday and Saturday
An approaching cold front will bring a two-day risk for severe storms to the Palmetto state. The risk arrives on the heels of Wednesday's system which spawned strong thunderstorms and large hail over the Low Country.
On Thursday afternoon, yet another surface low was developing over the Texas Panhandle. Low level winds were steering a pool of Gulf moisture northward into the Lower Mississippi Valley, while in the mid levels, winds were strengthening. Thursday night into early Friday the cyclone is expected to intensify as it ejects from the Plains into the Lower Mississippi Valley. A squall line of strong thunderstorms will likely develop along the system's cold front, which is slated to barrel through the Central Gulf Coast on Friday.
According to meteorologists at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, the squall line could produce storms capable of spawning long track tornadoes over Alabama and Florida's Panhandle on Friday morning and afternoon. In addition, large hail and damaging straight-line winds will be possible from storms over Dixie Alley.
It is not until late Friday afternoon that the leading edge of the squall line is expected to approach the Upstate. Storms are expected to progress from the mountains to the Midlands Friday evening, then from the Midlands to the I-95 corridor overnight Friday into early Saturday. Before dawn on Saturday, the cluster of thunderstorms should depart the Pee Dee into the Atlantic Ocean.
Midday Saturday, a second line of thunderstorms is modeled to develop over the Midlands and propagate eastward toward the I-95 corridor. Again, damaging winds and isolated tornado spin ups will be possible from the strongest storms.
The second half of the weekend should herald more tranquil weather over the Palmetto State, as high pressure is slated to build over the Lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday. Sunny skies, lower humidity and relatively cooler temperatures should dominate the state on the last day of astronomical winter.