A line of strong storms ahead of a cold front will continue to move through the Palmetto State this afternoon producing heavy rainfall, powerful winds, and even the chance for isolated tornadoes.
A deepening low pressure system near the Ohio River Valley Thursday morning was continuing to track eastward towards New England dragging a long and formidable cold front behind it which stretches down into the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.
Showers and a few thunderstorms will move through the Upstate and western parts of the Midlands through the early afternoon Thursday. Heavy rainfall could trigger localized flash flooding especially around the Appalachians. The severe threat will likely be minimal for most areas west of Columbia, however the line of thunderstorms is expected to gradually strengthen as it moves eastward towards the coast late Thursday afternoon. Fierce winds a few hundred feet above the ground will create an environment of strong wind shear ahead of the approaching cold front. This will help to fuel thunderstorm activity through the afternoon with some storms capable of producing strong, potentially damaging wind gusts, and even a few isolated tornadoes for parts of the eastern Midlands, Pee Dee, and the Lowcountry.
The Storm Prediction Center issued an Enhanced Risk (risk level 3 out of 5) for southeastern portions of Pee Dee including the city of Myrtle Beach for the chance of strong to severe thunderstorms. A Slight Risk (risk level 2 out of 5) is in place for the remainder of Pee Dee and northern and Central parts of the Lowcountry including the city of Charleston.
Showers and thunderstorms are anticipated to move offshore late Thursday evening with the cold front quickly passing overhead overnight. Upon the passage of the cold front, temperatures will rapidly drop overnight Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. Some remnant precipitation behind the passage of the front could translate to a wintry mix or even snow showers on Christmas Day.
Mostly clear skies will dominate the Palmetto State for the weekend with temperatures gradually warming as the arctic air from the jet stream shifts eastward into the Atlantic.