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The latest Midlands weather forecast as Hurricane Florence track shapes up

Scientists fly inside the eye of Hurricane Florence

Scientists filmed inside the eye of Hurricane Florence on September 10, as parts of the country braced itself for the impact of the Category 4 storm this week. This video was captured by scientist Heather Holbach for the Hurricane Research Division.
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Scientists filmed inside the eye of Hurricane Florence on September 10, as parts of the country braced itself for the impact of the Category 4 storm this week. This video was captured by scientist Heather Holbach for the Hurricane Research Division.

As Hurricane Florence’s predicted track shifts north of Wilmington, N.C., the South Carolina Midlands might still experience flooding even with lower rainfall expected.

North Carolina could see torrential rainfall if the storm stalls over the state as predicted. That means South Carolina, particularly the Pee Dee and northern Midlands regions, could experience river flooding as water flows downstream, National Weather Service forecaster Rachel Cobb said Tuesday morning.

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Based on the storm’s current predicted track, the northern Midlands, stretching from Lancaster and Chesterfield counties down to Sumter, could expect around 2 to 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, beginning Thursday afternoon and lasting through at least Friday, Cobb said. The same areas could feel up to tropical storm-force winds, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible.

The Columbia area is expected to see even less impact, Cobb said.

“If the track shifts south, that can change,” Cobb said. “But for now, it’ll be windy, it’ll be rainy.”

At least one weather model shows Florence could take a western turn once it makes landfall, resulting in up to 9 inches of rain in the Columbia area through Tuesday, WIS meteorologist Tim Miller reported around 11 a.m. Tuesday. That all depends on the eventual path of the storm and how long it stalls over land.

The entire Midlands area could experience scattered thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday even before Florence’s impacts are felt, Cobb said. The National Weather Service predicts a 50 percent chance of rain in Columbia both days, as of Tuesday morning.

Localized flooding is possible with those storms, Cobb said.

Aiken, for instance, got around 4 or 5 inches of rain and some flooding Monday night from a storm not related to the hurricane, Cobb said.

The SC Department of Transportation is preparing for oncoming traffic caused by mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Florence in the junction of I-26 and I-77 in Columbia, SC.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Florence

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