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Damaging winds could visit Palmetto State Thursday

Strong storms Thursday
Justin Ballard
Storm Prediction Center
A slow-moving cold front could bring damaging winds to South Carolina Thursday

A dynamic springtime cold front will bring the potential for damaging winds across much of South Carolina Thursday.

Surface observations Tuesday afternoon depict a developing low pressure in the leeside of the Rockies with an associated warm front draped across the Deep South. South of that warm front, dew point temperatures have risen into the 60s across the Gulf Coast. By Wednesday afternoon, the warm front is forecast to lift across South Carolina as severe storms target the Lower Mississippi River Valley. The potential for strong and severe storms shifts east by Thursday as the cold front slowly approaches from the west.

Forecast models depict dew points into the 60s across much of the Palmetto State by Thursday morning, with an increasing amount of fuel for thunderstorms. This could set the stage for damaging wind gusts Thursday as the atmosphere responds to an increasingly unstable environment. This potential will move in first across the Upstate during the morning hours. By midday Thursday, storms should enter the Midlands, bringing the potential for downpours and damaging winds. This broken line of thunderstorms will likely exit the Lowcountry by late Thursday evening.

The Storm Prediction Center has much of the state under a "marginal" risk for severe weather, which is a 1 on a scale of 1 to 5. This means that isolated severe storms are possible. There is some uncertainty regarding how widespread severe weather will be Thursday. Thunderstorms in the Panhandle of Florida and southern Georgia will be ongoing Thursday morning and could help to effectively consume available thunderstorm fuel downstream of South Carolina. If this does occur, the severe weather threat will be minimized. On top of the risk for severe weather, much of the state could see localized flash flooding as the slow-moving cold front pushes through late-week.

Continue to pay attention to the forecast over the next 24 to 48 hours, as a more clear idea of how the severe threat will evolve comes about.