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Tropical Storm Warnings issued as Ian eyes second US landfall near SC late week

Ian nears South Carolina coast by Friday
Justin Ballard
National Hurricane Center
Ian is expected to bring tropical-storm-force winds to portions of the Lowcountry by late in the week.

Hurricane Ian prompted the issuance of Tropical Storm Warnings for portions of the Lowcountry as tropical-storm-force winds, storm surge, and flooding are possible into the weekend.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center positions Ian along the Savannah River as a tropical depression Friday evening. Winds of up to 60 miles per hour will be possible, especially across the southern coastal counties of the Lowcountry. Tropical storm warnings indicate that residents should prepare for tropical storm conditions to be possible beginning Friday morning, potentially lasting through Friday evening.

Forecast guidance since Monday evening has gradually shifted east and that could bring more significant impacts to the South Carolina coastline from storm surge. As of publication, storm surge watches are in effect from near Georgetown to the mouth of the Savannah River. The latest forecast depicts storm surge of 2 to 4 feet possible in this area, especially where coastal topography lends itself to exacerbating storm surge. Residents of coastal communities are encouraged to evacuate if told to do so.

The risk for storm surge will coincide with the risk for flash flooding, especially across the Lowcountry, where as much as 10 inches of rain could fall through Saturday. Outside of the Lowcountry, a widespread area of 4 to 6 inches of rain are possible. The Weather Prediction Center's forecast through the weekend depict a moderate risk of flash flooding Friday into Saturday, with that threat shifting mainly north of South Carolina by Sunday.

As Ian tracks through South Carolina, there will also be a risk for tornadoes. The highest chance for this will be along and east of where Ian tracks, placing locations like Charleston and Columbia in the path most likely to be impacted by quick tropical spin-ups. Tornadoes associated with tropical cyclones tend to develop with very little advanced notice, so residents are encouraged to stay up-to-date on any tornado watches that may be issued for their locations.

While a direct landfall along the South Carolina coast may not occur, the impacts of a nearby track from Ian will provide direct impacts to the state through the weekend. Please heed advice from local officials regarding evacuation orders.