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Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued for All of South Carolina Saturday

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Clusters of thunderstorms are expected to rapidly develop across the Palmetto State Saturday afternoon, posing a risk of wind damage and hail.

In a midday update from the Storm Prediction Center Saturday, forecasters upgraded areas of the Midlands and Upstate regions to an “enhanced” risk (level 3 out of 5) for wind damage.

This was followed with a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the entire state of South Carolina, issued shortly after 2 pm and in effect until 9 pm.

The cells that develop Saturday afternoon and evening are expected to organize into line segments, capable of producing destructive wind gusts up to 70 mph. The storms might also produce hail, frequent lightning, and very heavy rain. An upper-level disturbance is adding extra energy and lift to what would otherwise be a typical summer day of only spotty, disorganized activity. This is similar to the event that knocked down dozens of trees and left thousands without power across the state Thursday.

Updates on the latest forecast trends and where the greatest chances of severe weather may exist will be posted at the top of this story in future updates.