[image-1] If you can’t already tell, it’s very windy outside. There’s a big storm blowing through the area and conditions are expected to worsen later this afternoon — according to The National Weather Service, Charleston is in the line of strong winds (40-50 mph) and severe thunderstorms, and currently under a tornado watch.

In preparation for severe weather the City of Charleston will close at 2 p.m., including recreation facilities and the municipal court. The early release of employees does not apply to public safety employees or other personnel that provide essential city services.

Charleston County government offices, including the downtown judicial center, will also close at 2 p.m.

In a briefing released this morning the NWS noted that: “A few gusts as high as 55 mph could occur across coastal portions of Charleston County, including the Metro Area’s elevated bridges. Winds this high will continue into the evening.”

If your route takes you across a bridge, take into account potential high wind gusts. Charleston County warns drivers to avoid high-span or exposed bridges if winds reach 40 mph.

Be safe out there y’all, and for the latest updates on what’s going on, we always recommend following local weather guru, @chswx.

Charleston closures:

Charleston County Public Libraries (book drops also closed) closing at 2 p.m.
Trident Technical College closing at 2 p.m.
Charleston County School offices and  programs will close at 2 p.m.
The College of Charleston closes at 3 p.m. (this affects classes, library hours, and campus activities)