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Flooding and rip current risks headline SC weather through weekend

A distant tropical cyclone in the Atlantic and a nearly stationary front in the southeast US will combine to increase flooding and rip current hazards across parts of the state now through this weekend.

Tropical Storm Earl is still forecasted to move north and stay well off the east coast, however long period swells will cause a moderate to high risk of rip currents at many area beaches. The highest risk will be along the upper coast from North Myrtle Beach down to Georgetown, but the lower coast will also have a significant threat. The Wilmington NWS warns, “Adding to the risk will be the fact that lifeguard operations at many beaches may be scaling down this week. Please use extra caution if you're visiting the beach. The danger is real”. If you do decide to hit the South Carolina shores, it is highly encouraged to stay in knee deep water or less.

As the wave energy increases along the coast, a cool front will slowly creep through the state and settle across Georgia the next 3-4 days. This pattern will cause rounds of heavy rain at times, especially across the Georgia border and Low Country where 2-4” of rain may fall through the weekend. Abnormal high tides due to Tropical Storm Earl may cause more significant flooding in coastal areas. Elsewhere, 1-3” on the average is expected. Please avoid those high waters and pay extra attention in our flood prone areas.