COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Hurricane Sandy will skirt the South Carolina Coast with minimal impact to the Midlands.
Sandy has weakened slightly as it made its way through the Bahamas and over cooler waters.
However, the storm will be traveling over the very warm waters of the Gulf Stream just off the southeastern coast of the United States. This could allow Sandy to strengthen slightly.
This system is expecting to be pushed back to the northeast by a passing cold frontal boundary that will bring cooler temperatures to South Carolina.
Tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect for the coastal areas of South Carolina.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 36 hours.
The coastal areas could see winds in excess of 40 mph along with increased wave heights of 10 to 20 feet off shore.
The main impacts to the South Carolina coast will be high winds, rain and beach erosion.
The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Sandy is expected to recurve back to the northwest and make landfall near southern New Jersey.
Landfalling hurricanes in the northeast are rare, but not unprecidented.
The Midlands can expect a few spotty showers in our eastern counties and windy conditions elsewhere.
Winds will be blowing from 20-30 mph with higher gusts due to us being in between the approaching cold front and Hurricane Sandy.
Thus, the National Weather Service in Columbia has issued a Lake Wind Advisory for our area.
Stay with the SkyWACH Weather Team for the very latest on Sandy.