There is a lot riding on this weekend's weather.

The Spoleto Festival begins today, graduations at Fort Dorchester and Summerville high schools are scheduled for Sunday and Memorial Day finishes out the three-day weekend on Monday.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for mostly sunny weather with temperatures in the 80s, but scattered thunderstorms and a moderate rip current warning could put a damper on some plans.

Willie Dasinger, a social studies teacher at Fort Dorchester High School who helped plan the school's indoor graduation, said the show would go on rain or shine.

The people behind other Lowcountry events are keeping a closer eye on the forecast.

Nunally Kersh, producer for the Spoleto Festival, said the weather is constantly on her mind.

"I compulsively check the forecast as the festival approaches," she said.

Several outdoor performances are scheduled over the course of the festival, and moving them inside would be a logistical hurdle, she said.

Beachgoers that hit the shore this holiday weekend should beware of a moderate rip current forecast for the next few days.

Steve Rowley, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Charleston, advised inexperienced and weak swimmers to avoid swimming in the ocean.

"You're flirting with disaster if you do that," he said.

Many people are anticipating a good weekend, regardless of whether thunderstorms roll through the area.

Tony McKie, general manager at the West Ashley location of Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, said catering orders traditionally increase for Memorial Day weekend.

He added that bad weather at the Sullivan's Island location drives people indoors, boosting sales.

"The rain helps business to be honest with you," he said.

Reach Melvin Backman at 937-5550 or