The Midlands appears to have dodged another hurricane.
That’s because Hurricane Maria is forecast to stay safely out to sea as it passes South Carolina as it makes its way up the East Coast. By the time the effects of Irma impacted South Carolina two weeks ago, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm.
There was a chance that Hurricane Maria could make landfall in South Carolina, based on models from last week. But the Category 2 storm’s latest track shows it staying offshore, moving northwestward at 9 mph, according to a Sunday update from the National Hurricane Center.
“The center is well east, offshore,” said Chris Liscinsky, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia. “It’s tracking north, northwest through Wednesday morning. Then, it’s expected to take a strong right turn pushing it out to sea. That’s expected to happen on Wednesday or Thursday.”
Previous models showed Maria staying well off the East Coast, but forecasters say the track slightly shifted because Tropical Storm Jose disappeared faster than expected.
“The original thought was that Jose would be able to influence the movement of Maria, and keep it further to the east, but since Jose has dissipated, that has allowed just a little slight westward deviation, but it’s not really that much,” according to what Michael Ross, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., told the Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Maria’s cone of uncertainty still grazes part of the North Carolina coast and the storm will be large enough that even if it doesn’t make landfall it could still cause damage. Maria is roughly 475 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
Liscinsky said Maria could impact the South Carolina coast. Even without making landfall it could cause high tides, rip currents and strong winds along the coast.
There aren’t expected to be any impacts in the Midlands.
“No models show it making landfall in South Carolina. Nothing indicates it making landfall in the official forecast,” Liscinsky said. “There should be very little impact here in South Carolina.”
Hurricane Lee has reformed, becoming the eighth hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. It’s currently 860 miles east of Bermuda, moving south at 3 mph.
The storm’s current track shows it making a loop and curving to the north in the middle of the Atlantic. It is not anticipated to pose any threat to land at this point.
Liscinsky’s assessment of Lee’s potential impact to South Carolina and the Midlands was more blunt.
“Lee will absolutely have no impact on us,” he said.
Not only will the Midlands be spared the impact of major storms, it’s expected to avoid any precipitation this week.
The recent warm spell is forecast to continue through this upcoming week, with no rain in sight.
“We’re going to stay dry,” Liscinsky said of the forecast which calls for temperatures to remain in the upper 80s to 90s through Friday. “There’s no mention of rain this week. But we are expected to experience a significant cool down on Friday. It could be dramatic.”
It just won’t be extra windy or wet.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 66. North wind 3 to 7 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. North wind 6 to 9 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. North wind 3 to 8 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 92.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 93.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.
National Weather Service