Tropical Storm Hermine formed in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon, and meteorologists say the storm is on track to hit the Lowcountry this week.
The center of the storm was located about 450 miles southwest of Apalachee Bay, Florida Wednesday afternoon, according to Accuweather meteorologists, and it’s expected to turn toward Florida soon with heavy rains and gusty winds, then head toward the Carolinas.
James Carpenter, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said Wednesday the storm is expected to make landfall around the Big Bend area of Florida Thursday, travel northeast across northern Florida, then along the southeast coast from Georgia to North Carolina.
Carpenter said the storm could bring four to seven inches of rain to the Lowcountry between Thursday night and Friday with some possible flooding, dangerous rip currents and possibly isolated tornadoes.
“Whenever you see strong storm cells like this, there’s an elevated risk for isolated tornadoes,” he said. “We could also see strong wind gusts of 45-55 mph.”
SCDOT issued a statement Wedneday stating its maintenance units across the state were preparing their staff, requirement, and plans for the storm.
On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency. NFL officials have moved the preseason game at Tampa Bay to Wednesday.
The storm should also bring dangerous rip currents to the Lowcountry. Carpenter said he expected rough surf in the area for the next few days.
The good news, however, is the storm should clear the area by late Friday, just in time for Labor Day weekend.
“It looks like we’ll see a drying trend into the weekend with a low chance of rain and highs in the upper 80s,” Carpenter said. “The storm could shift though, so anyone in the area need to keep a close eye on the weather.”