Given the current track, the National Weather Service expects Columbia to face 20 to 30 mph winds and gusts possibly up to 40 mph when Hurricane Florence reaches the Midlands.
Greater gusts and higher wind speeds are possible but mainly east of Columbia, in areas closer to the coast.
At this time, it is “hard to say” if Florence will hit Columbia as a tropical storm or a tropical depression, said NWS meteorologist Chris Rohrbach. The most recent prediction shows Florence arriving 50 to 60 miles east of Columbia, in Clarendon County, as a tropical storm.
“It’s possible that we may see tropical storm force wind speeds closer to the Columbia area. However, at this point, it doesn’t look quite as likely,” Rohrbach said.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled meteorologist Chris Rohrbach’s last name. It is spelled Rohrbach, not Rohrback.