Rain, winds arrive ahead of storm

Cautions and warnings are beginning to be issued for the Lowcountry as a storm off the Bahamas moves this way and winds grow stronger.

The maybe, maybe not subtropical storm off the Bahamas won’t take much of a smack at the Lowcountry, forecasters predicted Wednesday. But rains and wind could be around all weekend, and maybe into Monday.

Winds began rising Wednesday and heavy rain bands were expected to arrive by Thursday morning, but dry air and shearing winds pushing into the storm were expected to keep the worst of its winds and rain offshore. The best guess among forecasters is that the storm itself will arrive Friday.

The National Hurricane Center called for the storm to become a subtropical or tropical cyclone Thursday or Friday.

“The good thing is it’s a weak system and it will be weakening more. It will be mainly a coastal event and it will mainly be a rainmaker,” said meteorologist Bob Bright, National Weather Service, Charleston. But, “the storm is just going to sit out there.”

The S.C. Climate Office predicted that the worst of the winds would stay offshore and the storm itself would make landfall in North Carolina. Computer forecast model runs on Wednesday afternoon began to suggest that, too, but still varied from that to bringing the storm in near Charleston on Monday afternoon.

The models, though, aren’t considered reliable until the storm begins to turn as a classic tropical cyclone.

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