Could a “Surprise Hurricane” Form Off the SC Coast?

May 9, 2018, 11:16 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (WTAT-TV) — Governor Henry McMaster joined emergency officials from across the state for an annual hurricane preparedness exercise this week.

During that training, the team focused on the scenario of an unexpected hurricane.

But how does an unexpected hurricane form and could it really affect South Carolina?

FOX 24 weather forecaster Chris Nestman took a look at what it takes to get a surprise hurricane off our coast.

“First, you’ve got to have a frontal boundary push through the Lowcountry,” he explained. Something that happens all of the time.

“Then what happens is that front stalls out over warm water just off our coast, then becoming a stalled front.”

What can happen as a result? “You can have a tropical storm or hurricane that forms and spins up right along that front and potentially slide inland,” he explained.

Nestman says that scenario can and has happened before within a less than 24-hour time period.

During the 2017 hurricane season, Tropical Storm Emily popped up within a very short period – something the National Hurricane Season didn’t even know was going to happen until that morning.

Tampa, Florida had a tropical storm that pushed through that very afternoon.

The good news, Gov. McMaster says South Carolina is prepared if that scenario does happen to play out. “I’m proud to report that Team South Carolina is ready to respond,” he said in a message on Twitter.

It is always important to stay prepared ahead of any potential storm. Hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through the end of November.

Preparedness experts say now is the time to prepare for anything that may come our way and to review your family’s plan now.

For a complete hurricane preparedness checklist, please click here. You can also track any tropical system or learn more about preparedness by visiting the FOX 24 Hurricane Center.