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Rain, tropical storm could swat SC coast next week


Another deluge of heavy rain could be in the works for South Carolina over the weekend until Aug. 28 as clusters of thunderstorms from the Bahamas work their way up the Southeast coast.

The leading computer model runs Wednesday morning suggested the weather could become a tropical storm, meteorologist Jeff Masters with the forecasting company Weather Underground said on Thursday.

"Steering (wind) currents suggest a motion to the north-northeast by the middle of next week, which would put South Carolina at risk of a heavy rain event," Masters said.

Charleston-based meteorologist Shea Gibson, with the forecasting company WeatherFlow, said the coast could expect heavy showers and possibly embedded, or longer-duration, storms Sunday and Monday.

"A decent slug of moisture could ramp up the coast. Flash flooding will be a concern. However, winds should not be of any concern other than local storm related and tides are in a neap tide phase, so there's very low risk for tidal flooding," he said.

Hurricane Wire is a pop-up newsletter during hurricane season that delivers anyone who lives on the East Coast all the information they need to know as storms brew in the Atlantic and beyond.

The sudden outbreak of storms overnight Tuesday in the Bahamas took both the computer models and some forecasters by surprise. Their attention had been focused on Tropical Storm Chantal, which formed Wednesday in the north Atlantic off Canada.

National Hurricane Center and local National Weather Service forecasters were cautious in their predictions.

"Some slow development of this system is possible over the next several days as it moves toward the Florida peninsula and then the southeastern United States," said hurricane center specialist Andrew Latto.

The thunderstorms are really part of a "frontal boundary," said meteorologist Michael Stroz with the National Weather Service office in North Charleston. Fronts are the leading edges of roiled weather that tend to produce thunderstorms.

"It's coming from where tropical systems form, but people shouldn't get too wrapped up in that," Stroz said. "We're not overly concerned at this point."

Reach Bo Petersen at @bopete on Twitter or 843-937-5744.

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