Last year was the fifth-warmest year on record, the European-based climate service Copernicus has reported, at 1.2 C above the pre-industrial average.

The T&D Region is under a slight risk of severe weather and tornadoes Wednesday as a strong low pressure system passes through the area.

The National Weather Service says the risk of severe weather for the area has increased from a moderate risk to a slight risk, according to a weather briefing released Tuesday.

“A line of thunderstorms will move east across the region late Wednesday morning through early Wednesday evening,” the NWS said in its briefing.

“There is potential for some of these storms to produce damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes,” it said.

The greatest tornado threat is forecast to be along and east of the Interstate 20/Interstate 77 corridor, according to the NWS.

“A few damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and isolated tornadoes may down trees and power lines, result in minor structural damage and scattered power outages,” the NWS said. “Heavy rainfall on already saturated soils could result in isolated flash flooding.”

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The T&D Region is forecast to feel the storms between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The strongest wind gusts are expected between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. – ahead of the line of storms and just behind it, according to the NWS.

Sustained winds are forecast to be in the 20 mph range with gusts as high as 41 mph. The peak wind gusts are forecast to be in late morning.

The greatest chance for rain will occur between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to the NWS.

Gusty winds will blow around loose outdoor objects and could result in isolated tree damage given the saturated soils from recent rain.

A lake wind advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. Wednesday through 2 a.m. Thursday.

It will be warm Wednesday with highs near 69, but rainfall will be plentiful with a forecast of between half and three quarters of an inch.

Rains will taper off by midnight Wednesday, but it will continue to be breezy into Thursday morning, according to the NWS.

The additional rain will continue to keep the North Fork of the Edisto River slightly above flood stage.

A flood warning remains in effect for the river through early Friday afternoon.

The river is forecast to crest at about 8.1 feet Thursday into Friday morning. The river is forecast to fall below flood stage Saturday afternoon, according to the NWS.

At 8 feet, some minor flooding occurs along the boardwalk at Edisto Memorial Gardens. Downstream from the U.S. Highway 301 bridge, some roads off Chiquita Street near the river begin to flood.

Following the passage of the front, temperatures will fall back to normal for this time of year with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.

The possibility of rain is forecast to return Sunday into early next week.

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