Beware — severe weather is forecast for the Midlands on Halloween.
Thunderstorms, damaging winds and tornadoes are all possible Thursday, according to the National Weather Service office in Columbia. Hail and lightning are also in the forecast.
The most powerful weather is predicted to impact the Midlands during the peak hours for trick-or-treating.
The severe weather is expected to occur from 4-10 p.m., the NWS said.
“Consider canceling or altering your plans today,” the NWS tweeted. “Strong thunderstorm winds will lead to falling trees and dangerous lightning. It will not be safe for your little ghouls and goblins as these storms approach. DO NOT wait for the rain to start before moving indoors.”
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast for the afternoon, before a cold front moves across South Carolina, and causes temperatures to drastically drop in the Columbia area, according to the NWS.
A high of 84 degrees is possible Thursday afternoon, but thermometers are expected to drop into the 40s overnight, the forecast shows.
As the temperature cools, impacts of the storm will increase.
The chance of rain rises from 60 to 80 percent by night, and winds are predicted to exceed 15 mph, with gusts as powerful as 28 mph, the NWS said.
While the possibility of tornadoes is limited, the NWS said there is a greater chance of damaging straight-line winds.
The winds could cause power outages and knock down trees, according to the NWS.
The “primary threat will be 40-50 mph winds mixing down to the surface along with brief periods of heavy rain, lightning, and that knucklehead doing 45 in the left lane with no headlights,” the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.
Severe thunderstorm warnings and a flood watch have been issued in the Greenville and Spartanburg areas by the NWS.
As of 9 a.m., no warnings or watches had been issued by the NWS office in Columbia.
When the severe weather passes, it is expected to remain cold in the Midlands.
Cooler temperatures are predicted to last through the weekend, when highs will only reach the mid 60s. Thermometers will likely be in the 50- and 40-degree range, according to the NWS.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
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