MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Scattered strong to severe thunderstorms are already developing across western and central South Carolina and will spread into the Grand Strand and Pee Dee through the evening.
A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect for the entire area through 10 p.m. Thursday. Remember, a WATCH means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms. A line of intense storms will move across the region this afternoon and evening with the potential of very strong winds, hail and dangerous lightning.
Very high levels of heat and humidity will provide the fuel for storms this afternoon. A storm system in the upper levels of the atmosphere, known as a “shortwave”, will rapidly move over the region by the evening hours. This shortwave will enhance the risk of strong and damaging winds with the storms.
TIMING: Individual storms will begin to develop across the western Carolinas during the early to mid afternoon hours. As the afternoon wears on, these individual storms will likely congeal into a large, fast-moving, and powerful line of storms. This line will race through the region during the late afternoon and evening. The storms will enter inland areas between 4 and 6 pm and then move into the Grand Strand and coastal areas between 6 and 9 pm. All of the storms will move off shore by 11 pm this evening.
THREATS : The primary risk from the large line of storms will be very strong winds. Gusts of 40 to 60 mph will be likely in some areas. Isolated wind gusts to 70 mph will be possible in the strongest storms. Winds of this magnitude will be strong enough to knock down trees and tree limbs and could result in some areas of power outages. Hail is also possible with the strongest storms with hailstones up to quarter sized a possibility. The tornado threat is very low across the region with very little wind shear.
The WMBF First Alert Weather App will relay any watches or warnings issued for your location. It’s also the only local weather app that will feature video updates, that we can set for your specific area.
Once the line pushes offshore tonight, we reap the rewards of a brief break from the humidity for Friday and Saturday with drier skies and lower humidity. Afternoon temperatures will remain hot, in the 90s, but the heat index won’t be much of a factor.
Humidity and just a few storms will return over the weekend along with more hot temperatures. By Sunday, afternoon readings will climb into the middle and upper 90s.