Storms may hit Thursday night, Friday morning

Forecasters say isolated thunderstorms are expected across much of the region late Thursday into Friday morning.

The National Weather Service projected Tuesday that the main threats from the storms will be damaging wind, large hail, heavy rain and lightning.

Some tornadoes will also be possible.

“As we get a little bit closer to the event, we can better analyze whether there will be the potential for a tornado,” said Dan Miller, meteorologist at the National Weather Service headquarters in Columbia. “But it is always possible, when there is a line of showers sweeping through an area, which early models of this storm show are likely, that there may be a tornado embedded in the system.”

Miller said a strong upper-level system and associated cold front is expected to approach Georgia on Thursday and then push across the Central Savannah River Area overnight into Friday morning, bringing a half inch of rainfall, damaging winds and large hail.

At the moment, meteorologists as far west as the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. and as far north as AccuWeather’s studios in Pennsylvania, continue to monitor the storm, placing the region under a “slight risk for severe weather.”

Tom Kines, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said the storm could have a “history of severe weather” and that a tornado is “not out of the question.”

Miller advised residents and Masters Tournament visitors to pay attention to advisories, watches and warnings on weather radios, smart phones and the local media.

If severe weather does strike, Miller said people should seek shelter in a reinforced building, not a mobile home or trailer, in an interior room, such as a bathroom or closet, on the lowest floor.

“Even if there is not a warning in effect, go ahead and take action, if you have reason to believe there is severe weather looming in the area,” Miller said. “There is always the possibility severe weather may strike without enough time for a warning. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

There was some good news from Tuesday’s reports.

Kines said by Friday afternoon, the front should pass and “that should set the stage for a pretty nice weekend.”

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