Heavy rain, tornadoes could make voters miserable on Election Day, meteorologist says

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For voters planning to go to the polls on Tuesday, the National Weather Service has some advice.

It is not endorsing any candidates, but it is telling people to “pay attention and be aware” of the severe weather that is being predicted in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Topsy-turvy week ahead in the forecast. There is a risk for severe thunderstorms Tuesday,” the NWS tweeted Sunday.

Although the forecast will be much clearer Monday, current projections show both Carolinas will experience heavy rain and thunderstorms.

“There is a chance for showers and thunderstorms. … A 60 to 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms,” NWS meteorologist Doug Anderson told The State Sunday. “There is a risk of severe thunderstorms.”

That severe weather could include pockets of heavy rain, flooding and the chance of isolated tornadoes, according to Anderson, who said it is expected to affect the Midlands from early-to-mid-day Tuesday.

The greatest threat from the severe weather will be “straight-line wind gusts,” which Anderson said could be as powerful as 60-70 mph. He said wind gusts that strong can cause damage to trees and power lines.

The weather will be the product of current patterns in the Carolinas that will be affected by a cold front pushing through that will result in increased moisture, Anderson said. It will move up from the area near the Georgia-South Carolina border, and head north through the Palmetto State before hitting North Carolina.

“The strongest weather will be in (South Carolina’s) Upstate, but its southern edge will be in Columbia and the Midlands and move in a northeast direction up through Charlotte and Raleigh,” Anderson said.

Anderson told The State that the most extreme effects of the storms should last from 30 minutes to an hour. He said that could be a threat to Election Day, because travel conditions could be unsafe.

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“Pay attention, be aware and check your conditions before you go,” said Anderson, who warned the forecast could change significantly. “A lot can change, and the probability (of severe weather) can go up or down.”