FIRST ALERT: Severe thunderstorm warning expires for the Lowcountry

Severe weather in the Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Live 5 First Alert Weather Team declared the second day of summer as a First Alert Weather Day because of the chance of severe thunderstorms and because of a heat index in the triple digits.

A severe thunderstorm warning expired for Charleston and Berkeley counties Saturday night.

In addition, a severe thunderstorm watch which affected most of the Lowcountry has ended.

Live 5 Forecaster Danielle Prinz tracked powerful thunderstorms that moved through the Lowcountry Saturday morning with storms carrying wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

Thousands were without power after the severe weather moved through, but by noon, utilities had made significant progress in getting power restored.

Heat advisory

A heat advisory ended at 6 p.m. on Saturday for Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton Counties.

“We can expect mid 90’s and heat index readings between 105 and 108 on Saturday with a good chance of afternoon or evening storms which will help cool things down,” Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said earlier in the day.

He said the Storm Prediction Center puts the Lowcountry’s storm risk as “slight" but said storms that do form could be severe.

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The high heat index could mean heat stress for people and pets during time outdoors.

To avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke, keep these points in mind:

  • Limit exposure to the heat – stay in a cool environment and use fans to reduce the temperature.
  • Stay hydrated – consistently drink water throughout the day.
  • Limit alcohol use – it disrupts the body’s mechanisms for cooling itself and dehydrates.
  • Morning coffee dehydrates you, don’t drink too much of it.
  • Babies are at the highest risk because they can’t sweat as much and sunscreen is not recommended under six months. Best advice: keep them cool and out of the sun.

Know the signs of heat illnesses and be sure to check on those who are most vulnerable to the heat such as young children and the elderly.

Never leave children or pets in a vehicle.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.

Heat stroke is an emergency: Call 911.

The National Weather Service typically issues a heat advisory when the heat index is expected to reach 105 degrees.

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