Nasty weather set to hit South Carolina coast

Image by flickr user bartoImage by 20080717rain.jpg The South Carolina coast looks to be in for some nasty weather to blow in off the coast the next few days. Seen here, showers over the Pacific.

Update July 19: The system has formed into a tropical depression. Find out more.

Update July 18, 9 a.m.: The National Weather Service is speculating that the system of weather off Georgia near Brunswick is looking likely to become a "full-fledged tropical system by this weekend." They expect the system could be within 60 miles of Charleston in 24 hours.

Original post: Thanks to a low-pressure system off the coast, tropical moisture will likely stream onshore, resulting in a forecast of showers, thunderstorms, strong winds and possibly some heavy rainfall through Saturday. On Saturday, one or two inches could fall on coastal areas.

Storm clouds were already brewing early Thursday evening.The agency also says that up to a quarter inch will fall before 8 p.m. today, with some areas receiving as much as 3/4 of an inch. There is also potential that the storms could be slow-moving and produce large amounts of rain in small areas.

The National Weather Service has given the system a "medium" chance of forming into a cyclone during the next 48 hours.

An infrared image showing the colder, moisture-rich ball of nastiness off our coast.High tides this weekend will be around 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., so watch for flooding then (when the tide is high it's harder for water to drain to the marshes).

For you data junkies out there, you can also get a data-rich graphical forecast of the weather. And read up on the forecast discussion to get the latest.

Now, keep in mind this weather is all based on a forecast. We could have beach weather or gusting winds come Saturday morning.

So go forth, but bring an umbrella.