COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Hurricane Matthew's track has shifted further west, which means the storm will pass closer to South Carolina
Matthew currently is a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 115 miles an hour.
A hurricane warning has now been extended, and now includes the entire South Carolina coast and into southern North Carolina, ending at Surf City, NC.
In addition to the warnings along the coast, a flash flood watch is now in effect for the following Midlands counties: Richland, Lexington, Orangeburg, Calhoun, Sumter, Clarendon, Lee, Kershaw and Fairfield. The watch will last until Sunday morning.
Matthew continues to lash the Florida coastline with high winds and deadly storm surge. It will move past Georgia later today.
The biggest change is this: Matthew has shifted closer to the coast. In fact, there is now a possibility that the storm could actually make landfall, perhaps in the Charleston area, although that could shift a bit.
The timing of the storm has moved up a little as well. Right now, we're expecting to feel the effects late Friday. By Saturday at 8 AM, the center of circulation could be near Charleston.
By the early evening, the storm will be turning away from South Carolina. It then may make a loop that could take it into the Bahamas by the middle of next week.
IMPACTS ON SOUTH CAROLINA:
With the path shifting back to the coast, the impacts along the coast will be greater, but in many ways, the forecasted impacts haven't changed much.
Along the coast of the state from the GA/SC border all the way up through Charleston and even the Grand Strand, there will be life-threatening storm surge. Places such as Hilton Head Island, Daniel Island, and Folly Beach will be at greatest risk. Barrier islands could go under water.
Add to that will be anywhere from 8-14 inches of rain. Needless to say, there will be significant flooding along not just the coastline, but many communities even 30-40 miles inland.
Tropical storm force and perhaps even a gust of hurricane force winds are possible, which will lead to downed trees, property damage, and widespread power outages.
Further inland, the effects will taper off, but it's not unlikely that the southern and eastern Midlands could see 3-8 inches of rain. The central Midlands could see between 1-5 inches, with the northern Midlands likely not seeing much rainfall at all. That could lead to isolated areas of flooding, particularly in communities closer to the I-95 area.
Overall, the Midlands will also see occasional gusty winds the entire day, perhaps as high as 50 miles an hour in some spots. There will also be a chance of some power outages.
Do keep in mind that rainfall projection models shift every time new data gets put into the computer. Those runs are made multiple times a day, so it's hard to tell the exact totals that every town may receive. However, the general forecast is the same every time: the closer you are to the coast, the more rain you're going to see.