Weather alert: Beaufort, Jasper counties under tornado watch Thursday

The National Weather Service triggered a tornado watch, lasting until 7 p.m. Thursday for Beaufort and Jasper counties.

Ping pong-sized hail, scattered wind gusts up to 70 mph and a “couple” tornadoes are threats under the watch, the service said.

A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area, the NWS noted. The service added that the watch area is typically large, covering multiple counties or states. If a tornado warning is later issued, it indicates a twister has been sighted or seen on radar.

Early Thursday, NWS meteorologists with the Charleston office said a “thunderstorm complex” coming from west of southeast South Carolina will move into Beaufort County between 3 and 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service’s Charleston Office.

A second round of possible severe storms could move through Friday morning and into the afternoon.