COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hurricane Sally is weaker, but remains a strong Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph as of 5 am on Tuesday, but with a movement of just 2 mph, the storm's legacy may be it's slow moving nature, which is expected to bring heavy rain across the southeast including here in South Carolina.
The Weather Prediction Center expects flooding along the Gulf Coast near Hurricane Sally's landfall to potentially be "historic" on Wednesday with more than a foot of rain along the gulf coast of Mississippi, Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.
Rain from the remnants of Sally will continue on Thursday and Friday across the southeast. In South Carolina, more than 5 inches of rain is expected in the Upstate with 2-5 inches for the Midlands and less rain for the Lowcountry. Localized flooding is possible later in the day on Thursday and early on Friday.
Thunderstorms are not expected to be a widespread threat on Thursday or Friday which lowers the risk for severe weather, and with recently drier weather in the Midlands, the flooding risk is lower than it otherwise would be. Regardless, the Weather Prediction Center has placed the Midlands under a marginal risk for flooding overnight Wednesday and a slight risk for the midlands on Thursday due to the risk for steady tropical downpours. The Weather Prediction Center has placed the update under a moderate risk for flooding on Thursday.
A look at the Models
Weather models consistent about the risk for heavy rain, but there are discrepancies regarding how much could fall and when the heaviest rain falls.
The European model favors a slower and stronger moving storm bringing heavier rain into the Midlands overnight Thursday into Friday with higher overall rainfall totals. The Monday overnight run of this model brings over 7 inches of rain for the upstate with 2 inches for the midlands.
The GFS model might have a better handle on Sally because it recognizes the weakening trend that occurred overnight on Monday with the hurricane. As of the Tuesday morning model run, the GFS brings 2-4" of rain for the upstate with 1-2" of rain for the Midlands. The heaviest rain arrives on Thursday with this model with only lingering Friday showers.