Strong Storms Return to the Palmetto State Sunday Night and Monday

Apr 17, 2020

Damaging winds, isolated tornadoes, and heavy rain are likely across the Palmetto State beginning Sunday evening, and lasting into Monday morning.

A low pressure system is forecast to develop over the Southern Plains Sunday and move into the lower Tennessee Valley Sunday night. Ahead of the low, an increasingly warm, humid, and unstable air mass is expected to lift into Georgia and South Carolina Sunday night.

Forecast models suggest strong winds blowing at different directions with height are likely to create an environment favorable for severe storms. The most unstable air is likely to reside across coastal parts of South Carolina and the Lowcountry, which is where the great risk of wind damage or a tornado will reside.

As of Friday afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center has given an enhanced risk (level 3 out of 5) of severe thunderstorms in the Lowcountry central parts of South Carolina, including but not limited to the Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Ridgeland areas. This risk begins Sunday night and lasts through Monday morning. The risk is “slight” (level 2 out of 5) for North Augusta, Charleston, Orangeburg, Georgetown, and Myrtle Beach areas. A “marginal”risk (level 1 out of 5) is in effect for Columbia, Sumter, and Florence. Timing and strength of this event will likely change over the next few days, and will depend on how far north the warm and humid air gets into the state.

Heavy rainfall and scattered areas of flash flooding are also possible statewide, with 1 to 4 inches of rain expected. Locally higher amounts are likely near the heaviest, most persistent thunderstorms.

Conditions will begin to improve by midday Monday as the cold front associated with the low pressure system moves through and pushes showers offshore. Dry weather is expected to return by late Monday as high pressure builds into the region lasting through at least midweek.