Front Brings Flood Threat Ahead of Hurricane Idalia
A stationary front over the area will continue to interact with deep moisture and instability tonight to produce numerous showers and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, Idalia will move north into the eastern Gulf of Mexico today, strengthening into a major hurricane prior to landfall in Florida on Wednesday. Idalia and her primary impacts are forecast to track east of the area Wednesday into Thursday.
Scattered storms causing heavy rainfall are ongoing this evening and will persist through tonight. Flash flooding is possible at any time during this period. Additional heavy rainfall is expected Wednesday through Thursday morning, primarily over the lower Piedmont (south and east of I-85), as Idalia moves up the Atlantic coast. Local conditions will improve on Thursday as Idalia shifts northeast and heads out to sea.
Widespread 1-to-2-inch rain totals are expected with storms developing along/near the stationary front. Localized 3+ inch totals are possible anywhere numerous storms occur or stall. Isolated flash flooding will be possible from these slowly moving storms. Idalia’s current forecast track would keep the heaviest rainfall and strongest winds just southeast of our area. The outermost rain bands from Idalia are expected to impact lower Piedmont areas south and east of I-85 from Wednesday into early Thursday. These bands may produce another 1-2 inches of rainfall and a low-end isolated flood threat, for a total rainfall of 3+ inches possible in these areas.
Flood Watch for Greenwood, Laurens, Union, Chester, and York Counties in South Carolina, and Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Union Counties in NC. Effective 2PM Wednesday thru 8PM Thursday.
Rainfall totals will vary widely across the area due to the locally intense rainfall associated with individual storms. While Idalia is currently forecasted to track near the GA/SC/NC coastline, reducing our local impacts, our area remains vulnerable to small westward shifts in the track. This is especially true for areas south and east of I-85.
Dry weather is expected behind Idalia beginning Friday and through the weekend as high pressure builds into the area. High temperatures are expected to return to near normal by Sunday.