Irma Remains a Tropical Storm, Slowly Weakening


It continues to be a weather threat to the southeast, including some possible effects here in SC.

As Hurricane Irma arrives, the collision of different pressure systems could spread high winds over a wider area, Panovich says.

Irma may have weakened to a tropical storm, but state forecasters warn it's no time for South Carolinians to let their guard down.

The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg has issued a high wind watch for the western Upstate, the southern mountains of North Carolina and northeast Georgia.

Irma, which made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever observed, and is considered to be extremely unsafe, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This watch includes includes Aiken, Calhoun, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland and Saluda counties.

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Hurricane Irma has drifted even more west as of Sunday morning, but the northern portion of SC is still not completely out of harm's way.

The NHC said a turn toward the northwest and an increase in speed is expected later today, continuing through Monday.

The watch is in effect from Monday morning to Monday night. "So on Monday, not only are we expecting windy conditions, probably sustained winds of 30, maybe 40 miles an hour with higher gusts".

It's unclear when power will return. Santee Cooper reported no power outages this morning.

Jim Gandy, Meteorologist Efren Afante, and Meteorologist Daniel Bonds are all tracking the storm, and will have regular updates online, on our Facebook page, and on TV.