High winds, severe storms still possible this afternoon in Charleston area

Strong wind inverts a pedestrian's umbrella on King Street in Charleston Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Matthew Fortner/Staff

While initial storms and downpours moved through the Charleston area Wednesday morning, the greatest risk of severe weather will come early in the afternoon, the National Weather Service stated.

A cold front dropping into the region will fuel the threat, which could include thunderstorms with 60 mph wind and a chance of an isolated tornado.

The main time to be vigilant is between noon and 4 p.m., the Weather Service’s North Charleston station said in a statement.

The system already has spawned several twisters and killed at least three people in Louisiana and Mississippi as it sweeps through the Deep South.

A wind advisory also will remain in effect for the tri-county area through 6 p.m. Sustained wind from the southwest will range between 25 and 30 mph, Weather Service meteorologists said. Gusts could hit 40 mph.

The forecasters warned people with high-profile vehicles to travel carefully over bridges and other elevated roads. Lightweight objects such as lawn furniture and trash cans are likely to be blown around.

Official sensors early Wednesday indicated gusts of 45 mph on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and 54 mph at the Charleston International Airport.

The Weather Service also reported that trees had fallen on Halfway Creek Road near Steed Creek Road in the Francis Marion National Forest in Berkeley County.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.