Although we saw a nice warm up today, a WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for our part of the Carolinas for late Thursday night through Saturday morning. Tonight will be partly cloudy and not as cold as the past few nights. It will still be warm tomorrow with highs in the 60s. A strong cold front will move through late in the day, bringing scattered showers and much colder weather.
Temperatures will drop Thursday night, and the scattered showers will continue. Temperatures will fall below freezing shortly after midnight west of I-95, and rain will change to freezing rain. During the early morning hours, temperatures will fall below 32 east of I-95 to the Conway area, changing the rain to freezing rain. Along the coast, temperatures will be above freezing to start the day Friday, but temperatures will continue to fall on Friday, so rain should turn to freezing rain, even along the coast.
A storm system will develop offshore on Friday, and that will keep precipitation going throughout the day and through Friday night. For areas west of I-95, the freezing rain will change to sleet on Friday and may end as a bit of snow Friday night. A half-inch to one inch of ice and snow are possible.
East of I-95 to the Conway area will be mainly freezing rain, then change to a period of sleet. It is possible that this could end as a brief period of snow late Friday night or early Saturday. Between one quarter and one half of an inch of ice are possible in this area.
From Conway to the Grand Strand, the rain will change to freezing rain on Friday and continue Friday night. This may mix with some sleet before ending Saturday morning. Accumulations along the coast will be between a tenth of an inch to one-quarter of an inch of ice.
Impacts from this storm will be greatest in the area between I-95 and Conway where mostly freezing rain will fall. This area has the greatest chance for freezing rain accumulation which could snap tree branches and cause power outages.
West of I-95 precipitation will be mainly sleet, which does not stick to trees and power lines, and is less likely to cause power outages. There will still be hazardous driving conditions in this area.
From Conway to the Grand Strand, temperatures will stay above freezing for a longer period, which will limit the ice potential. We are still expecting freezing rain accumulation along the Grand Strand, but not as much as inland areas.
Sunshine returns on later Saturday, but temperatures will stay below normal into next week.
Tonight, partly cloudy and not as cold. Lows 42 inland, 48 beaches.
Tomorrow, partly sunny and warm with scattered showers. Highs 62 inland, 64 beaches.
Friday, much colder with periods of freezing rain and sleet. Highs in the mid to upper 30s.