It was slightly cloudier today than in the previous two days. Temperatures today were in the upper 50s and tonight it will be clear with temperatures in the mid-30s along the coast and low 30s inland. For Saturday, expect mostly cloudy conditions, with cloud coverage enhancing during the evening. It is possible that rain will begin late Saturday night, but a majority of the rain is going to be Sunday. Sunday is the main weather event. There is a winter storm watch in event for several of our inland counties including: Darlington, Dillon, Marion, Florence, Scotland (NC), and Robeson. This watch is in effect until 1PM on Sunday. As a reminder, the difference between a watch and a warning is a watch highlights conditions are possible, whereas a warning signifies conditions are likely.
A low pressure system is cutting across the southeast United States. The center of the system is likely to cross through the northwestern part of the Carolinas. In the beginning, early morning on Sunday, our viewing area will begin with rain which will transition into freezing rain for counties along the border belt and most communities to the west of Florence. As the day progresses into late morning, freezing rain is expected to retreat north affect communities in North Carolina. Along the coast, rain will be increasing from light conditions to moderate. By the afternoon, our viewing area will have switched back to rain and this will be when the heaviest rain is expected (moderate to heavy). This system will clear out during the evening and overnight hours. The whole event is anticipated to last less than 24 hours.
In terms of what to expect with this storm, coastal communities should be prepared for 1-2 inches of rain. Inland communities should also expect around an inch of rain, and the biggest concern for northern counties will be the likelihood for ice formation especially during the morning hours if the temperatures are low enough. Northern cities should experience freezing rain for a couple of hours, and the rain will quickly melt away any ice that has accumulated in the meantime. Therefore, hazardous road conditions are not expected.
After the rain, the rest of the week looks nice! Clouds will clear out over the course of Martin Luther King Day with temperatures hanging out in the low 50s. There will be a gradual warm up as we approach Wednesday. Skies will be mainly clear up until Thursday, where we will have another low chance for some rain.