Level 3 enhanced risk of severe storms across the area
The Storm Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, has placed the Upstate under an enhanced risk for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening. Enhanced is the third level of the five levels the SPC uses. According to Frank Strait with the SC State Climate Office, a cold front moving into the near-summery air mass that is in place across the state will trigger the storms. The primary concern will be damaging straight-line winds. Large hail of an inch or larger in diameter is also a risk, and there is also a chance to see a few isolated tornados spawned by the storms. Strait says the storms will start over Georgia and Alabama earlier in the day and form a squall line before reaching South Carolina this afternoon. The line will move through at the warmest and most unstable part of the day, which also increases the severe weather risk. Timing for the storms to move through our area looks to be between 3-7 p.m., with the highest threat expected around 5 p.m. or so. While there is a small chance for showers and storms Saturday afternoon, as well, the weather should be clearer, dryer, and cooler, with temperatures in the lower 70s through the weekend, and temperatures remaining in the 70s through next Thursday.