Clarendon School District 2 schools releasing early as Sumter, Clarendon, Lee under tornado watch


All Clarendon School District 2 schools will dismiss at 1:15 p.m. Friday as Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties are under a tornado watch.

The watch extends Friday until 6 p.m. as severe thunderstorms move through.

Buses will depart at 1:15 p.m. to take Clarendon students home, according to a district spokeswoman.

The National Weather Service issued the watch with a hazardous weather outlooks and lake wind advisory. A strong area of low pressure and cold front will move through the area this evening, producing strong winds over lakes that will be hazardous for small craft.

Gusty winds are expected to blow around unsecured objects.

A watch means weather conditions favor thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes and that tornadoes are possible. A warning means a tornado is occurring or will soon and that it is expected.

The counties included in the watch are: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Hampton, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter.

The thunderstorms are expected mainly after 2 p.m. with a high near 80 degrees and winds between 18 and 24 miles per hour with gusts as high as 38 mph.

It is forecasted to be mostly sunny tomorrow with a high near 63.

Sumter School District, Wilson Hall and Thomas Sumter Academy are all on spring break.