Tornado Watch in effect in Grand Strand, Pee Dee

GRAND STRAND, SC (WMBF) - The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for many Pee Dee and Grand Strand counties until 5 p.m.

Areas of the deep south experienced severe weather on Christmas with an unofficial count of at least 30 reported tornadoes. These conditions will continue to affect drivers hitting the roads on Wednesday morning as the storms head toward the Carolinas.

WMBF Storm Team Meteorologist Jamie Arnold warns that the biggest concern for travelers will be strong winds at 60 mph or higher.

The Tornado Watch is in effect in Robeson and Scotland counties in North Carolina. The watch area also includes Marlboro, Florence, Marion, Darlington, Dillon, Horry and Georgetown counties.

"Our probabilities for tornadoes are unusually high. Obviously late December you don't think of as your typical severe weather season but this is a very dynamic storm system," Arnold explains. "It's already produced a record number of tornadoes so far on Christmas day and we're going to see that threat continue into the Carolina's."

To break down the threat, Arnold says that areas along I-95 from Darlington to Bennettsville may experience effects as early as 9 a.m. Other inland areas from Florence to Marion can expect severe storms from 11 a.m. until around 12 p.m. Wednesday.

Coastal areas from Whiteville, to Conway and Murrells Inlet to Georgetown should be prepared for severe weather from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Arnold says the system should move out of the Grand Strand around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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