Laura’s Remnant Likely to Bring Gusty Storms Saturday
Laura is not expected to produce anywhere near the widespread damage over the Palmetto State that it did over Louisiana, but gusty showers and thunderstorms are likely over parts of the state on Saturday.
Laura had weakened to a tropical depression as it moved through Arkansas early Friday morning. Its remnant low is on track to move through Kentucky Friday night into Saturday morning before moving off the Mid Atlantic coast on Sunday. As Laura’s remnant makes it closest approach to South Carolina on Saturday, the winds in the lower part of the atmosphere will increase and are likely to be as high as 60 mph a few thousand feet above the ground. A band of showers and thunderstorms are forecast to develop over the Upstate on Saturday morning. These showers may act to partially transfer some of those strong winds to the ground. As a result, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center issued a slight risk (level 2 out of 5) for severe thunderstorms from the Rock Hill and York areas to near Lancaster and Chesterfield on Saturday. The remainder of the state, except for the Lowcountry, is under a marginal risk (level 1 out of 5) for severe thunderstorms on Saturday.
Winds about 1 mile above the ground are going to crank at about 40 to 50 mph (~35-45 knots) over #SouthCarolina on Saturday thanks to #Laura's remnant passing north of the state. A portion of these winds could transfer to the ground w/ showers and storms. #scwx pic.twitter.com/0oAUEzjThN— Ray Hawthorne (@ray_hawthorne) August 28, 2020
Additional, scattered thunderstorms are likely to develop Saturday afternoon. These storms may produce a few reports of damaging wind gusts, but widespread wind damage appears unlikely at this time. A brief, isolated tornado is not entirely out of the question in the Palmetto State; however, the greatest risk for tornadoes is in North Carolina and Virginia where atmospheric conditions are forecast to be more favorable for their development.
The showers and storms are expected to move fast enough to prevent widespread flash flood concerns. Rainfall amounts were forecast to be less than 1 inch in most locations on Saturday.
The scattered thunderstorms are forecast to move offshore after dark on Saturday, which will all but eliminate the risk of damaging gusts by late Saturday night statewide.