Much of South Carolina, northeastern Georgia and south-central North Carolina have been upgraded to an enhanced risk (see Fig. 1) for severe thunderstorms this afternoon by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). An enhanced risk is a level 3 category out of 5 (see Fig. 2), which means numerous severe storms are possible throughout the afternoon & evening hours.
At this hour, the atmosphere is become unstable across this region. At the same time a long-lived MCS is moving out of Tennessee. While much of the convection with this MCS has undergone weakening, the cold-pool from the convection is well-intact. This will allow new convection to develop this afternoon across the Southeast.
Widespread damaging winds are possible this afternoon in the Carolinas and Georgia. This wind threat is the main hazard for the afternoon with winds up to 70mph possible. The tornado threat is low but it is possible a brief tornado could spin-up along the leading edge of any complex of thunderstorms this afternoon.
The best timing for severe thunderstorms will be from 3:00PM Eastern until Midnight Eastern. Make sure you take all watches and warnings seriously this afternoon, as damaging winds are just as dangerous as a tornado. It should be noted the severe threat does exist west into central & northern Alabama, northeastern Mississippi and Tennessee.
Cities included in the Enhanced Risk: Asheville, NC; Charlotte, NC; and Columbia, SC.
Cities included in the Slight Risk: Knoxville, TN; Charleston, SC; August, GA; Atlanta, GA; Savannah, GA; Birmingham, AL; Huntsville, AL; and Tupelo, MS.
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!