FIRST ALERT: Coastal Flood Watch now in effect, wind and rain increase through Saturday
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A powerful coastal storm will move off shore of the South Carolina coast on Saturday and Sunday bringing gusty winds, periods of rain and the risk of significant coastal flooding to the region.
The combination of abnormally high King Tides associated with the nearly new moon will continue to create very high tides through the weekend. The gusty winds and rough surf associated with the off shore storm system will aid in pushing water levels even higher. A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH is now in effect for coastal Horry and Georgetown Counties through Saturday morning.
The latest tide forecast suggests that the Saturday morning high tide may reach as high as 8.5 feet. Coastal flooding begins when tides reach 7 feet. At 8.5 feet, coastal flooding in areas like Cherry Grove, Garden City and Pawleys Island will be more widespread and deeper than what is seen during normal coastal flooding.
The Sunday morning high tide may reach even higher with a forecast now of 8.9 feet. If reached, this level would be higher than what the region saw from Hurricane Dorian, but lower than what was experienced from Hurricane Isaias. Significant coastal flooding is likely. 8.9 feet would rank the 5th highest tide on record in Myrtle Beach.
Light rain will overspread the region early Saturday and turn more widespread and potentially heavy by the late afternoon and evening. The heaviest rain will likely arrive around sunset on Saturday and may continue off and on through the night. Rain will continue into Sunday morning before beginning to taper off Sunday afternoon.
Rainfall totals will be highest near the beaches where 1 to 3 inches of rain is likely. With the recent dry weather, no flooding is expected. Inland areas will see considerably less rainfall.
The powerful storm system will produce strong winds through much of the weekend. The highest wind gusts will arrive across the Grand Strand starting Saturday afternoon and last into early Sunday morning. Peak wind gusts across the beaches will likely reach 35 to 45 mph at times. Inland areas will see gusts of 25 to 35 mph. If the storm is a bit stronger than expected, a few gusts over 50 mph would be possible near the beaches.
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