Under its current path, Hurricane Michael is on track to impact much of South Carolina starting late Wednesday.
A tropical storm warning is now in effect for much of South Carolina as Michael moves closer to the Florida Panhandle with surprisingly little fanfare. Forecasters believe it will move very quickly across the Southeast.
National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham said Michael is expected to still be a tropical storm when it reaches South Carolina overnight. “So if you take that rain and all this wind moving northwards, you’re going to have power outages in many of these areas,” he said during a Facebook Live post on Tuesday.
The hurricane center’s “cone” shows Columbia, Greenville, Charleston and even Myrtle Beach could be in the path of Michael’s center. However, Graham warns the storm itself is much bigger.
Michael strengthened to a Category 3 storm on Tuesday. It is projected to come ashore near Panama Beach, Florida on Wednesday afternoon.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Proud told South Carolina Radio Network that even though Michael will enter the state by land through Georgia the coast of the state will still see some storm surge.
“But it won’t be quite the degree as Matthew or Florence as they came on shore,” he said.
The National Weather Service says Michael’s winds of 50-70 mph will be felt in parts of the Carolinas as early as 8 p.m. Wednesday then go through the day Thursday.
Unlike Florence, wind speeds during Michael are a bigger concern than rainfall.
This comes as parts of South Carolina hard hit by Hurricane Florence just over three weeks ago are still recovering from that storm.