The much-needed rain from a weak tropical system passing offshore should end late Thursday in Columbia, giving way to clear skies and seasonable temperatures in time for the weekend.
The Midlands could get 1-2 inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday, on top of about that same amount that fell Sunday and Monday and ended a 30-day rain-free period.
The system, likely to reach weak tropical storm strength and be named Nicole, is expected to parallel the coast as it moves north from Cuba and drops 4-8 inches of rain on the Grand Strand, according to the state climate office. Winds should be in the 25-30 mph range.
Tornado activity is more likely in the northeast section of the storm. Even if the storm makes landfall along the Grand Strand, much of the northeast quadrant will miss the state.
Farther south along the coast, there's less chance of tornadoes and rainfall should be in the 1-2 inch range in the Beaufort area and 2-4 inches in the Charleston area.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the Lowcountry, Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas.