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Powerful spring system could bring wind, hail to Palmetto State Thursday

Justin Ballard
Storm Prediction Center
Thursday could bring the risk for damaging winds and large hail to the Palmetto State.

A multi-day severe weather outbreak is ongoing across the Central U.S. and this system will slide into South Carolina Thursday.

Surface analysis early Wednesday afternoon depicts a powerhouse area of low pressure located on the border between North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. On the northern side of this low, blizzard conditions have been ongoing for two days. On the southern periphery, widespread severe weather has plagued the Central and Southern Plains since Monday. This system will finally begin its trek eastward Wednesday into Thursday, but this will lead to a shifting risk for severe weather.

Weather models depict a weakening line of thunderstorms that will approach the Southern Appalachians early Thursday. While this first line does look to outrun instability, models suggest a regeneration of thunderstorms is likely ahead of the cold front Thursday afternoon. Thunderstorms will have modest fuel to feed on, however, the approaching cold front will likely be enough to get storms going during the heating of the afternoon. Storms are most likely to develop near the Midlands, before pushing into the Lowcountry by the evening. Once the cold front pushes off the Eastern Seaboard overnight Thursday, the risk for severe weather will diminish as winds turn more northerly.

The Storm Prediction Center has much of the Palmetto State under a "marginal" risk for severe weather, which is a 1 on a 1-to-5 scale. This means that while severe weather will not likely be widespread, a few storms could reach severe thresholds. The dynamics aloft in conjunction with cold air in the mid-levels support a damaging wind and large hail threat. Stay weather aware through Thursday and be ready to seek shelter if warnings are issued.