Severe weather expected to hit Columbia Saturday morning


The National Weather Service is predicting a severe weather outbreak to come through Marion County Saturday beginning around 8 a.m.

Forecasters gave a briefing to emergency officials Friday morning.

The severe weather could result in widespread, damaging, straight-line winds up to 70 to 80 mph, strong tornadoes and golf-ball-sized hail, according to the National Weather Service. The fast-moving system could bring between 1 to 3 inches of rain.

Currently there are supercells ahead of the line of storms, so the severe weather could start sooner, possibly by 5 a.m. Saturday.

Marion County is situated in the "enhanced" threat area. As the storms move through, it could be upgraded to a "moderate" area.

Heavy winds up to 25 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph are expected to begin today.

With all of the rain that has already fallen within recent weeks, flash flooding is possible. In addition with rain in the forecast Monday through Wednesday, continued flooding is possible.