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      Humid & smokey with a chance for storms

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Hot, humid, and a chance for afternoon thunderstorms|sounds a lot like July in the Midlands.

      An area of high pressure is bringing the humid weather to the area Tuesday. With the heating of the day there is enough moisture in the atmosphere that's creating pop-up thunderstorms this evening.

      Some of the storm cells have the potential to be severe.

      Another negative factor in our forecast is the haze you`ll notice in the sky. Smoke from wildfires in Southeast Georgia has been blowing into South Carolina. This is because of a southwesterly windflow we have had the last couple of days. With the fires positioned to our southwest, the smoke is getting caught in the winds and blowing in our direction. That`s why you may have noticed at times while outside it was not only hazy, but smelled like smoke.

      State health officials are warning residents in about a dozen counties about possible health effects from the wildfires.

      The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday the smoke can irritate eyes and lungs and exacerbate existing health problems. People with respiratory issues are urged to limit time outdoors and keep windows and doors closed.

      A fire in Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp has consumed nearly 450 square miles since igniting two months ago. At least three homes have been destroyed by a fire in Bladen County, N.C. A fire in Horry County has burned more than 770 acres.

      Until the fires are contained, the haze and smoke smell will be possible as we have a south and southwesterly wind forecasted for the remainder of the work week and into the weekend.

      You can always get the latest on the Air Quality on the Weather Page of