FIRST ALERT: Tornado watches end for Lowcountry counties
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Tornado watches around the Lowcountry have been allowed to expire as Tropical Depression Nicole moves farther from South Carolina.
Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole put the Lowcountry under tornado watches throughout Thursday night going into Friday morning.
Most of the watches ended Friday morning, and a watch for Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties ended just before noon. Two tornado warnings were issued in the Tri-County during the storm activity.
A tornado warning was issued at 12:20 a.m. for parts of Charleston County, however, it expired at 12:41 a.m.
Another warning came Thursday afternoon as a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located at 5:17 p.m. near Knightsville The warning expired at 5:45 p.m.
The National Weather Service has not verified if any tornados touchdown during either of the warnings. Meanwhile, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division says county emergency managers across the state reported minimal damages. None of the managers requested state assistance.
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Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine says gusts to tropical storm force are possible Wednesday through Friday.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form, but does not indicate that any actual tornadoes have been detected.
Tropical Storm Nicole has sent multiple homes collapsing into the Atlantic Ocean. Nicole made landfall as a hurricane early Thursday near Vero Beach, Florida, but the brunt of the damage was along the East Coast well north of there, in the Daytona Beach area. Its damaging coastal surge was hitting beachfront properties in Daytona Beach Shores that lost their last protections during Hurricane Ian.
The Live 5 Weather team declared Thursday and Friday as First Alert Weather Days because of possible impacts from the storm.
Sovine says coastal flooding is likely through Friday around high tides with beach erosion and high surf also likely.
Sovine said heavy rain could be possible with rainfall totals between one and four inches. Breezy conditions could occur through Friday and winds may occasionally gust to, or over, 40 mph near the coast.
Nicole became the 14th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Monday.
As of 10 a.m., Nicole was a tropical depression with its center located near latitude 34.2 north and longitude 84.3 west, about 35 miles north of Atlanta, Ga. The storm was moving to the north-northeast at 23 mph and its estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb or 29.56 inches.
Forecasters say an acceleration toward the north and north-northeast is expected Friday.
On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move across central and northern Georgia Friday morning and over the western Carolinas later.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Nicole is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone Friday, then dissipate Friday night or early Saturday as it merges with a frontal system over the eastern United States.
City of Charleston officials say they will be closely monitoring the tropical storm. Crews have already begun preparing for potential storm impacts.
“Residents are asked to keep an eye on reliable local weather reports over the next few days,” Emergency Management Director Ben Almquist said in a news release. “If bad conditions do arise, citizens are advised to follow the guidance of Emergency Management officials and, as always, motorists should avoid driving through high water when they encounter it.”
The city’s stormwater department has prepared temporary pumps for low-lying areas. Crews will also be cleaning out ditches and drains in flood-prone areas.
To find out how you can help, visit the Adopt-A-Drain website by clicking here.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through Nov. 30.
Sprawling Tropical Storm Nicole drenching Florida, Georgia
Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 hurricane at about 3 a.m. Thursday, more than a hundred miles south of Daytona Beach Shores, before its maximum sustained winds dropped to 60 mph, the Miami-based center said. The storm was centered about 30 miles southeast of Orlando. It was moving west-northwest near 14 mph.
Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami advised people to understand that hazards from Tropical Storm Nicole “will exist across the state of Florida today.”
Nicole came could briefly emerge over the northeastern corner of the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon before moving over the Florida Panhandle and Georgia, he said.
The storm left south Florida sunny and calm as it moved north, but could dump as much as 6 inches of rain over the Blue Ridge Mountains by Friday, the hurricane center said.
Nicole became a hurricane Wednesday evening as it slammed into Grand Bahama Island. It was the first to hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that devastated the archipelago in 2019.
For storm-weary Floridians, it is only the third November hurricane to hit their shores since recordkeeping began in 1853. The previous ones were the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and Hurricane Kate in 1985.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.