Update: National Weather Service officials have issued a tornado watch for several Midlands and Pee Dee counties as a storm sweeping through the South enters the state.
Officials said the watch means that meteorological conditions are conducive to spawning a tornado. So far, there has not been a reports of a tornado, but Midlands residents are urged to be on alert for changing weather pattens.
The counties included in the tornado watch are: Aiken, Calhoun, Chesterfield, Dillon, Florence, Lancaster, Marion, Orangeburg, Sumter, Bamberg, Cherokee, Clarendon, Edgefield, Horry, Lee, Marlboro, Richland, Union, Barnwell, Chester, Darlington, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Saluda and York.
As the storm moves through the county, officials said high wind gusts could cause some damage and trees could fall due to the loosened soil conditions.
South Carolina Electric & Gas officials are reporting that roughly 260 customers are without power in Lexington, while at least another 100 customers are without power in the North Columbia.
Due to the inclement weather, Orangeburg County 5 School District officials have canceled all after-school programs and activities. Lexington 1 School District officials have canceled all after-school programs and activities as well.
Previous report: A hazardous weather outlook remains in effect for several Midlands Counties as potentially severe weather moves into the area Wednesday afternoon, National Weather Service officials said.
Officials predict that there is a 90 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in Richland and surrounding counties before 1 p.m. Some of these storms could be severe and could carry wind gusts of up to 46 miles per hour.
With a high of 74 and high-speed winds, officials say that the storm brings the potential for tornadoes. Even though no Midlands counties have been placed under a tornado watch Wednesday morning, one was issued for Allendale County, and it will remain in effect until 10 a.m.
Motorists are urged to be on the lookout for any trees and power lines that may fall due to the intensity of the winds, officials said.
Many Upstate counties are under a flash-flood warning after the storm dropped 1 to 2 inches of rain since Monday. Officials said those counties are expected to receive and additional 1 to 2 inches of rain Wednesday.
As the storm system moves out of the area, it will leave partly cloudy skies in Columbia Wednesday evening, with a low of 42 degrees. Officials predict that sunny weather will produce high temperatures around the mid-50s through Sunday.