“A front will be sweeping across the Southeast region beginning tomorrow (Thursday), bringing the possibility of damaging wind gusts and hail,” Accuweather.com meteorologist Shawn Smith said on Wednesday.
“It’s going move across Arkansas and Mississippi tomorrow (Thursday), and by the evening it will be near Alabama and Georgia. Overnight (late Thursday and early Friday) is when it will push closer to North Carolina, with strong thunderstorms along and ahead of the front.”
Smith said the daytime drizzle conditions that have been predicted for Richmond County Thursday could become more unstable as the front approaches the area, turning into a thunderstorm threat.
“We’re not 100 percent that everyone is going to see these storms, but the big deal is that it is an overnight event. Most people will be sleeping and; a lot of people don’t expect it and don’t hear the warning signs.”
Smith recommends that locals watch the weather forecast before going to bed, check for the latest updates, and keep a battery-operated “weather radio” handy. Outside pets need to be put under shelter.
“There is a possibility of isolated tornadoes, though the threat is not as high for Richmond County as it is for areas farther south and west. Springtime is tornado season, but the peak really holds off until later on in April, May and June.”
According to Smith, wind gusts could reach speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour.
“That’s enough to knock down trees, power lines, anything loose. And hail, especially when it gets to one inch in size, will dent cars.
“There’s no worry as far as freezing temperatures, but hail can damage agricultural crops.”
By the time the weekend gets here, Richmond County should be enjoying Spring weather once again.
“By the time Friday rolls in things should be clearing out,” said Smith. “ You’re looking at a high of 73 on Friday, 74 Saturday and 71 Sunday - and mostly sunny. For the most part, the weekend will be nice (but) another storm should be coming through next week.”