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Tropical system could bring rain and wind to Palmetto State later this week

Meteorologist Justin Ballard
South Carolina Emergency Information Network
Model guidance is in agreement that Invest 98-L will likely come ashore along Florida's east coast before impacting South Carolina later this week.

A low pressure north of Puerto Rico is expected to develop early this week and it could bring impacts to South Carolina by late-week.

Surface observations late Sunday show a broad area of low pressure located approximately 150 miles north of Puerto Rico, producing a wide area of showers, thunderstorms, and rough seas. Ship measurements depict winds on the northern periphery of this low in excess of 35 miles per hour. The environmental conditions surrounding this area of low pressure will support continued development, with a tropical or subtropical depression possible. Whatever the designation of this system, model guidance suggests the system will come ashore along Florida's east coast Wednesday into Thursday.

There is a great deal of forecast uncertainty regarding where the low pressure will go after impacting the Sunshine State. A strong ridge of high pressure will be locked in place across New England through midweek. While this feature will help to steer the system south of the Carolinas through Wednesday, some models indicate a weakening of the ridge later this week. When exactly the ridge erodes to allow for this system to move northward remains a prominent question. A faster eroding ridge would lead to a northeastward trajectory through late week and would likely result in a faster-moving system. If the ridge of high pressure remains strong and does not erode, the system could be steered into the Gulf of Mexico before being absorbed into an approaching trough and frontal system.

Regardless of the exact track of this system, rain coverage is expected to increase through the late-week period. The combination of tropical moisture and an approaching front will lead to the risk for localized flash flooding Friday and Saturday, especially if the low tracks closer to South Carolina. Aside from the late-week risk of heavy rain, winds will likely remain breezy during this period as the pressure gradient between low pressure south and high pressure north tightens.

Residents are encouraged to keep a close eye on the forecast in the days ahead, as details will be fine-tuned in the days to come. The Atlantic hurricane season continues through November 30.

Residents are encouraged to stay up-to-date on the forecast in the days ahead, as the forecast continues to be fine-tuned. The Atlantic hurricane season goes on until November 30.