Severe Storms Likely For The Southeast This Afternoon

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.

Fig. 1: Thunderstorm outlook map for this afternoon from the SPC

Fig. 2: SPC severe categories

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.