A meteorological “kitchen sink” will be thrown at the Rock Hill area and the rest of the western Carolinas on Sunday, with flooding and severe storms possible during the afternoon and evening.
A strong cold front that is predicted the cross the area by late afternoon or early evening will bring the threat of damaging winds, hail, heavy rain and a few tornadoes, forecasters say.
And, says one meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Greer, “here’s the kitchen sink” – in the form of snow Sunday night in the North Carolina mountains.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for York County until 6 p.m., and while Chester and Lancaster counties are not included in the watch, heavy rain is possible there too. And there appears to be a strong likelihood that the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., will issue some type of severe thunderstorm or tornado watch for the afternoon hours.
Showers and thunderstorms in advance of the cold front are expected to reach the Rock Hill area by early afternoon, with the worst of the weather predicted for the mid and late-afternoon hours.
This same system was responsible for nearly 70 reports of tornadoes and wind damage Saturday across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The bullseye of severe weather on Sunday is a portion of the Carolinas including the Rock Hill area, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
That area has been put in an “Enhanced” risk of severe weather. It’s the third-highest of five categories of storm probabilities used by the Storm Prediction Center.
Heavy rain is another possibility, forecasters say.
“With the strong updrafts expected, we can certainly expect to see torrential downpours,” said Trisha Palmer, of the Weather Service’s office in Greer. Palmer said computer guidance indicates most areas will get one to two inches of rain, with some areas being hit with as much as four inches. She said much of those totals could fall in a short period of time.
The front and severe weather threat will push east of the region by mid evening, but as Palmer noted, “We’re still not done yet.”
That’s when colder air is forecast to spread into the region. While partial clearing is expected in the Rock Hill region overnight, snow is forecast to break out in the mountains, producing about an inch.
The colder air will be evident Monday. Despite sunshine, temperatures are only forecast to reach a high of 60 degrees. A northwest wind will make it feel even colder.
Temperatures will drop into the upper 30s Monday night, and light frost is possible across the region.
A rapid warm-up is forecast to begin Tuesday, with highs near 70 degrees. Temperatures will reach 80 Wednesday, then fall back to highs around 70 by later in the week.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter @slyttle