Extensive Wind Damage Likely in Parts of South Carolina Today

Apr 19, 2019

Update at 4:00 PM: Tornado Watches continue for most of the state, but the watch has been canceled for parts of the Low Country (including Charleston, Beaufort, Walterboro, and Hilton Head).

Thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts will move through the Grand Strand area between 4 and 6 PM. Another line of thunderstorms from near Greenville/Spartanburg southward to near North Augusta is moving northeast and may affect the Columbia and Rock Hill areas between 5 and 6 PM. So far, this second line of thunderstorms has not been as damaging as the first line. However, a Tornado Watch remains in effect and an isolated tornado or damaging winds cannot be ruled out. Heavy rain and lightning are still a threat with these storms.

Update at 1:45 PM: Tornado Watch has been expanded to include more of the Pee Dee and the Grand Strand, including Myrtle Beach. The watch expires at midnight.

Update at 12:55 PM: Tornado Watch is in effect for much of South Carolina until 6 PM, except until 5 PM for the Upstate. Tornadoes with significant wind damage are possible anywhere within the watch area. The Grand Strand and Myrtle Beach area is not under a Tornado Watch yet, but it is likely to be issued later this afternoon as the weather gets closer.

A line of powerful storms is likely to produce wide swaths of wind damage over portions of South Carolina today.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK says the atmospheric environment is expected to become conducive for considerable organized severe thunderstorms, accompanied by a substantial risk for strong, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes. The areas at greatest wind for this dangerous weather is roughly along and east of Interstate 77, from the Midlands to the Low Country, Pee Dee, and Grand Strand.

The following times are when the squall line of severe storms are most likely to arrive...

  • Greenville/Spartanburg area between noon and 2 PM
  • Columbia and Rock Hill between 1 and 3 PM,
  • Hilton Head between 2 and 4 PM.
  • Charleston and Florence between 4 and 6 PM,
  • Myrtle Beach between 6 and 8 PM.

The worst of the weather is expected to last no more than 60 to 90 minutes at any one location. The powerful thunderstorms will move offshore by around 9 o'clock. Only a few showers and thunderstorms are expected to remain after that time. Clearing, much cooler, and breezy weather is anticipated this weekend behind the thunderstorms.