(WLTX) - A tropical storm watch has been issued for South Carolina's entire coast in advance of Hurricane Sandy's expected run-in with the United States.
The watch is in effect from the Savannah River to Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.
As of the 8 a.m. Friday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Sandy had maximum sustained winds of 80 miles an hour. It was moving to the northwest at 10 miles an hour.
The storm weakened as it moved across Cuba Thursday night, but it left significant damage in its wake, and has killed an estimated 21 people so far. Related Coverage: Sandy Kills 21 in the Caribbean
The storm will pass by the Bahamas later in the day.
At present, Sandy poses no direct threat to South Carolina, and the watch that has been issued for the state is largely out of an abundance of caution. News19's meteorologists believe Sandy will bring the Midlands clouds and showers Saturday, and breezy conditions for most of the week.
The current consensus track of Sandy takes it hundreds of miles off our state's shoreline as it moves up the Atlantic.
Eventually, a ridge of strong high pressure is expected to push the storm into the eastern U.S., perhaps around the Tidewater states or southern New Jersey.