FIRST ALERT: Upgraded risk of severe storms, isolated tornado today

Sean's Friday AM WX

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Friday remains a FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY for the risk of severe storms.

The Carolinas now have an upgraded risk of severe storms and tornadoes. We are now at a four out of five today, based on this early morning update from the Storm Prediction Center. The threat for damaging winds is especially higher, with strong gusts over 60 to 70 MPH possible through the day and the evening.

As of Friday morning for the storms through the day
As of Friday morning for the storms through the day

Looking at the latest data, models continue to point towards a morning and evening round of storms both of which could be severe. So what does that mean for you? Showers and storms will begin to form and become scattered through the early morning hours on Friday. There is actually enough fuel by 6-10 AM for these storms to intensify. Due to that, the severe threat is actually even present for a few storms in the morning as mentioned in our earlier update. Here’s a look at future radar for Friday morning.

Now at at a 4, meaning numerous severe storms likely
Now at at a 4, meaning numerous severe storms likely

Those morning storms will have the potential to bring strong winds and even a brief spin-up. Of course, you can download the First Alert Weather App to keep you informed on the morning storms throughout the morning commute.

Damaging winds will be the main threat with the cold front. Tornadoes are possible but not the main threat with this line of storms.
Damaging winds will be the main threat with the cold front. Tornadoes are possible but not the main threat with this line of storms. (Source: WMBF)

The second round of storms will be associated with the cold front. That line of storms is the one that has the potential to pack an even larger punch. The main threats for this line of storms will be damaging winds and an isolated tornado. The question we will continue to watch will be the storm fuel for that second round. If the first round of morning storms stick around long enough, it will be hard to overcome those and create additional fuel for the second round. Think of the atmosphere as the gas tank to your vehicle. If we lose 3/4th of our gas early in the day, it’s going to be hard to go much further with only 1/4th of a tank. The only way to build it back up would be with clearing, sunshine and additional heat energy. If not, our second line will not be as strong.

With the severe weather threat Friday, it’s important to have a plan. A basic plan would include a disaster supply kit in case of emergency. That kit would include the essentials like a flashlight and so on. A weather radio would also be a great addition for when you might have to take shelter. Other items that could help you would be a map to track storms, a battery operated TV or radio, shoes, cell phone, car keys and your ID.

So what can we expect for the second round? We have updated the latest thoughts on the timing for arrival. Here’s the arrival times for the line ahead of the cold front.

Here are the latest times for you and tomorrow's main line of showers and storms.
Here are the latest times for you and tomorrow's main line of showers and storms. (Source: WMBF)

Future radar likes the idea of clearing and a strong line of storms intensifying as it works towards the Pee Dee. Notice the strong line to our west, bowing out with damaging winds and a few kinks along the line. Those kinks would be small indicators of rotation that we would watch for Friday. Those would be the main areas to watch for that isolated tornado threat. Another place to watch? Storms that fire ahead of the line have the potential to rotate as well.

Friday afternoon is when the line of storms will begin to work eastward.
Friday afternoon is when the line of storms will begin to work eastward. (Source: WMBF)

That strong line of storms will work into the Grand Strand by 7-9 PM. The timing of this system is better than where it was 24 hours ago but there is still some room for a few minor changes.

The line of showers and storms will work across the Grand Strand around 9 p.m.
The line of showers and storms will work across the Grand Strand around 9 p.m. (Source: WMBF)

So what are the key points as you prepare tomorrow? Here you go!

Two round of severe weather are expected tomorrow. One during the morning commute and into the late morning hours. The second round will be from 4-10 PM.

Damaging winds will be the main threat. An isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out. Heavy rain will also be falling in these storms but the flooding threat is low.

If there is a break between the first and second round, stronger storms are possible for the evening. If not, expect a weaker line.

With the potential for severe weather in the forecast, be sure to stay updated with us on the First Alert Weather App. You can download it for free on any Android or iOS device. We will update this story as needed.

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