FIRST ALERT: This afternoon looks like the time for concern

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) –

Parts of South Carolina are under a high risk for severe weather today, according to the Storm Prediction Center. The western Midlands counties are under a moderate to enhanced risk for severe storms, while the rest of the Midlands are considered a moderate risk by the SPC.

“We very seldom reach that level,” WIS First Alert Meteorologist Ben Tanner said.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch in effect from noon Wednesday into the evening. The Watch includes Saluda, Lexington, Richland, Aiken and Sumter Counties.

While we were concerned about the potential for damaging storms early Wednesday morning, that concern has shifted to mid-afternoon from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

On Monday, at least one tornado touched down in the Midlands, an EF-2 in Calhoun County.

RELATED: School and program early dismissals, closures ahead of Wednesday’s severe weather

The threat level is for heavy rain, damaging wind, large hail and tornadoes as a strong disturbance moves into the state. The Midlands could see very strong tornadoes spread out across the area.

“Over my 20 years, I have rarely seen the severe risk being quite this high,” Tanner said. “Hoping for the best, though. We’ll be here all day Wednesday to keep you updated.”

Click here to download the free WIS Weather app ahead of the severe weather.

Things calm down for the rest of week Thursday – Weekend (Much cooler Friday – Saturday)

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