Apr 6, 2017

National Weather Service: Severe thunderstorms to hit Savannah after 11 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Charleston is expecting the showers and thunderstorms to hit the Savannah area after 11 p.m. tonight. NWS Charleston’s website said some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain.

Additionally, NWS has issued a damaging wind advisory for Thursday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the Savannah area. Winds exceeding 60 mph are classified as damaging winds.


3:52 p.m. : The University of South Carolina Beaufort will cancel classes after 4:20 p.m.

2:50 p.m. : Chatham Emergency Management Agency has placed Savannah under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. tonight.

The National Weather Service in Charleston predicts scattered to widespread severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging wind gusts and possibly a few tornadoes for the Coastal Georgia area later this afternoon.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency spokesman Randall Mathews said the agency expects the severe thunderstorms between 2 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday.

NWS Charleston’s website warned that a few Wednesday morning thunderstorms may become severe with large hail. By this afternoon, a significant severe weather outbreak is possible throughout the area, with an additional round of severe weather possible in the evening.

NWS meteorologist Jonathan Lamb said that thunderstorms are fairly common for the Coastal Georgia and South Carolina area this time of year, but such favorable tornado conditions are out of the ordinary.

“Spring is usually the time we get more severe weather events, but even still, it’s a scenario that a lot of converging factors contribute to,” Lamb said. “Our area doesn’t typically have such favorable conditions for tornadoes at this time of the year.”

Tornadoes or not, NWS is expecting widespread damaging winds in excess of 60 mph, Lamb said.

The potential for severe thunderstorms will continue through the early morning hours Thursday, ahead of a strong cold front which will cross the region around daybreak Thursday.

NWS Charleston places the thunderstorm risk at level three, which means there are numerous severe storms expected in the area. The highest risk is level five.

Some Savannah schools didn’t take any chances. Benedictine Military School sent students home at 12:30 p.m., and St. Vincent’s Academy sent students home at 1 p.m. because of the potential for severe weather.

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System spokeswoman Sheila Blanco said all SCCPSS schools dismissed at the regularly scheduled time, but all after-school activities and athletic events were canceled.

Georgia Southern University Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah closed at 2 p.m., at which time all offices and facilities closed as well. Classes were canceled and all campus events were canceled for the remainder of Wednesday.

Savannah Tech canceled their classes at 2:30 p.m.

Armstrong State University will be canceling classes and closing campuses at 3 p.m.

Check back to savannahnow.com for updates on tonight’s risk for severe weather.
Georgia Power severe weather safety tips

• Never pull tree limbs off of power lines or enter areas with debris or downed trees as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage.

• Always assume that power lines are energized. Do not drive over down power lines and avoid standing water, metal fences, television or cable lines, and other items that may conduct electricity.

• Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power.

• Never use generators or charcoal-burning devices inside your home. They produce carbon monoxide-an odorless, colorless gas that can be fatal.



Savannah-Chatham County Public School System - dismiss at the regularly scheduled time, all after-school activities and athletic events canceled.

Georgia Southern University and Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah closed at 2 p.m.

Savannah Tech canceled their classes at 2:30 p.m.

Armstrong State University canceled classes at 3 p.m.


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