Hurricane Matthew continues to gradually weaken in the face of more hostile conditions as it slides up the South Carolina coast this morning. As of mid-morning, the storm is now a category 1, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
This will be little consolation to residents in these areas as relentless rains and very high storm surges will produce widespread flooding issues across the low country all the way north into the coastal plain of North Carolina.
The 8 a.m. location of Matthew was just offshore of Charleston, with the northern / western eyewall (the most dangerous part with wind gusts of 80 mph+) very near Charleston and Georgetown. Matthew's motion is northeast at 12 mph. The storm is expected to track dangerously close to the coast this morning, continuing toward Myrtle Beach and Wilmington later today.
For the WBTV viewing area, a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect over the weekend along with a Wind Advisory for the identical counties: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Stanly, Anson and Richmond in NC, and York, Chester, Lancaster and Chesterfield in SC.
Storm total rainfall (including Friday's rain) will amount to one to three inches for Charlotte and vicinity, and two to four inches in the eastern counties.
The rain should taper off from west to eat this afternoon, ending last in eastern sections south and east of I-85 this evening. Expect winds of 20 – 30mph during the day around the Charlotte Metro Saturday with gusts 30 – 40mph and closer to 50mph in the eastern sections. These winds will be strong enough to bring down weak trees, large limbs and power lines leading to scattered power outages.