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A line of thunderstorms has put the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing tournament at risk of severe weather expected between Friday morning and Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Beaufort and Jasper counties should expect to see severe weather that poses a risk for damaging wind gusts, hail and isolated tornadoes arrive between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to current storm projections.
“If this line of thunderstorms were to arrive a little later than currently expected, we could see risk levels potentially go up,” Neil Dixon, a forecaster with the NWS, said Thursday morning.
The storms pose a threat for southeast South Carolina and Georgia as winds come from the south. Dixon said wind gusts could reach up to 45 mph and should also be expected ahead of the storm.
Gale watches are in effect for South Carolina waters, and beach goers should expect rough surf, strong winds and the enhanced risk of rip currents.
The storms could throw a wrench in your Heritage plans.
PGA Tour officials will be the ones to make the call to suspend play if necessary on the Harbour Town Golf Links, Angela McSwain, the marketing and communications director for the Heritage Classic Foundation, said Wednesday.
She added that tournament-goers can bring umbrellas to the course, and should “pay attention to the weather and plan accordingly.”
Dixon told The Island Packet on Wednesday that PGA Tour officials are in contact with NWS forecasters.
Toby McSwain, director of security for Sea Pines, said Thursday that spectators will not be allowed to shelter in place at the tournament.
Instead, security will work with the NWS meteorologists at the tournament to determine when, if ever, it is necessary to evacuate the golf course.
“We need well over an hour to evacuate the golf course depending on the time,” he said. “There is no sheltering in place.”
Plans for players and caddies are already in place for bad weather, he added. Spectators should check the course video boards for possible evacuation information and the tournament’s website.
Here’s a look at how the weather is looking Friday and through the weekend for the Hilton Head Island area:
Showers and thunderstorms are expected with a high of 78 degrees. It may be windy with a south wind of 21 to 30 p.m. with gusts as high as 41 mph. The chance of precipitation is around 90 percent with rainfall between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue until around midnight with a slight chance of showers between midnight and 3 a.m. The low is expected to be around 55 degrees.
There is a slight chance of showers after 9 a.m. It is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 66 degrees and breezy with a southwest wind between 17 and 20 mph. Chance of rain is around 20 percent.
The slight chance of showers will continue until 9 p.m. with low temperatures around 53 degrees.
It is expected to be sunny with a high near 75 degrees and a low of 57 degrees.