A tornado passed by Hilton Head Island and along the length of Beaufort County just off the coast Tuesday night.
The tornado had already passed through Chatham County, Ga., and the system was heading for the Charleston area, according to the National Weather Service.
By 8:30 p.m. no other tornadic activity had hit near Beaufort County.
By 6:30 p.m., the greatest threat of a tornado had passed, meteorologist Jonathan Lamb said Tuesday night, though there is still potential for hail as storms come through the area. Pea-sized hail was reported near Forest Beach, he said.
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The tornado traveled through Georgia around 6 p.m. moving at about 40 mph, according to a tornado warning for the county that expired at 6:15 p.m.
A “pretty intense line of thunderstorms” made its way from just east of Savannah toward Beaufort Tuesday night, Lamb said.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Beaufort and Jasper counties until 11 p.m. Tuesday and a flash flood watch for Beaufort County until midnight.
Emily Timpte, meteorologist at NWS Charleston, said Beaufort County should expect the brunt of the storm from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, but the threat for severe weather continues through Wednesday.
“There could be flash flooding at any time today, as some areas in the region already got more than 6 inches of rain yesterday,” Timpte said. “The primary threat we’re looking at is damaging winds and possibly isolated tornadoes.”
More than 1.5 inches of rain fell in the Beaufort area through Tuesday afternoon and 2 to 3 additional inches were expected to fall throughout the day, according to the weather service. Heavy rains threaten most of the Southeast, from Florida to North Carolina.
The weather should clear up for the weekend, however, for those who have Memorial Day plans in the Lowcountry.
“The forecast is looking a lot better toward the end of the week as the chance of rain drops to 30 percent this weekend and it should be sunny and warm by the weekend,” Timpte said.
Beaufort County forecast
Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 71. Southwest wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 80. South wind 13 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Wednesday night: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 2 a.m. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 67. South wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Southwest wind 14 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
Thursday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 62.
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 85.
Friday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 89.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 72.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.
Memorial Day: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.