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Tornado Watch issued for more of South Carolina

Tornado Watch until 8 PM

A new Tornado Watch has been issued for the South Carolina Midlands until 8 PM. The watch includes the Columbia metropolitan area, Orangeburg, Sumter, and North Augusta. A line of severe thunderstorms, which has produced significant wind damage and possible tornadoes in the Spartanburg area this morning, is accelerating eastward. The line is forecast to reach the Columbia metro area between 3 and 5 PM and Sumter and Florence between 5 and 7 PM.

The Storm Prediction Center says widespread wind damage, including gusts in excess of 75 mph, are likely within the watch area. Isolated tornadoes are possible within the line as it moves eastward. 

The squall line is expected to reach the Lowcountry, Pee Dee, and Grand Strand between 7 and 10 PM. There are no watches in effect at the moment, but additional watches may be issued later this afternoon or evening.

Rain is still falling in Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson, where Flash Flood Warnings continue for much of the afternoon. The National Weather Service says 3 inches of rain has fallen over the past 24 hours and another 1 to 2 inches are possible before the rain ends this evening. The threat of wind damage and tornadoes from thunderstorms in the Upstate is beginning to diminish and should come to an end before 5 PM.

The strong cold front that is partially responsible for the strong thunderstorms is forecast to move offshore, with conditions improving after midnight tonight.