Hurricane Irma center tracking west of Midlands, winds could begin Sunday night or Monday

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast track for Hurricane Irma has the center of the storm going west of Lexington and Richland counties.

According to the National Weather Service in Columbia, tropical storm force winds – that would be up to 45 mph- could begin as early as Sunday night, but more likely Monday into Monday night, based on the current forecast.

However, there is still uncertainty regarding the exact track. The forecast track lessens the strength of Irma by the time it reaches the Midlands because the hurricane would have been over land in Florida and Georgia before it gets here.

The NHC reports states that a shift back to the east would lead to the potential of more severe conditions.
Currently, Hurricane Irma is moving toward the Southern Bahamas. Irma is a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, with sustained winds of 155 mph as of 5 a.m., Friday.

The NHC’s prediction on the Irma’s current track is for possible winds of tropical storm force for the Midlands Monday and Monday night, mainly south of I-26 in the western half of the Midlands. These winds would cause damage to trees, signs, and outbuildings.
Some damage to mobile homes would also be possible in areas that receive the strongest winds, along with minor damage to other structures. Scattered power outages would be expected

Locally heavy rainfall possible early next week of 4-7 inches, with isolated amounts to 10 inches. The heavier amounts could lead to flash flooding, with some river flooding possible throughout next week.
Isolated tornadoes are possible Monday and Monday night.