As Tropical Storm Elsa neared Cuba on Monday, the chance of storm-force winds approaching the Midlands remained low, predicted the National Weather Service.
Columbia and its surrounding cities are still expected to receive extended periods of rain by mid to late week as a result of the storm, with Thursday forecast to be the wettest day.
The S.C. cities most likely to receive stronger winds from Elsa, a storm that was previously classified as a hurricane, are in the southernmost parts of the Lowcountry, near Hilton Head Island. South Carolinians are expected to start feeling those winds on Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the earliest.
The National Weather Service said the Lowcountry could see winds of at least 39 mph, which are considered storm force. Walking against those winds can be difficult and the blast can tear limbs off trees. Trees can sway, and umbrellas become difficult to use.
In addition to receiving those stronger winds, coastal regions of South Carolina are expected to get more rain than the Midlands from the storm. The National Weather Service has advised the heavy rains could lead to isolated flash floods along the coast.
No tropical storm warnings or watches have yet been issued for any part of South Carolina. Tropical storm warnings have been sent for the lower coastal regions of southern Florida that touch the Gulf of Mexico, while cities located farther north on Florida’s western coast, like Tampa and Tallahassee, remain on Tropical Storm watch, the less serious of the two classifications.
This is a developing story and may be updated.