Emergency officials are warning the public about forecasts that predict up to three inches of freezing rain and snow could hit the Interstate 85 corridor through Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for ten counties in South Carolina, mostly among counties that border North Carolina. The warning is in effect through Saturday night for Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Greenville, Lancaster, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union and York counties.
Forecasts predict rain and sleet will begin late Thursday night, before switching to snow around 3 a.m. The snow will switch to sleet by sunrise Friday in the Greenville-Spartanburg region as the temperature rises above freezing. The NWS is predicting between 1-2 inches of accumulation during that time.
Freezing rains will continue throughout the day Friday, according to the forecasts, along with gusts of up to 30 miles per hour. Meteorologists also predict around a quarter-inch of ice to accumulate throughout the day.
Another inch or two of snow is expected again on Friday night as the temperature dips below freezing again. The snow is expected to continue throughout Saturday morning.
Sleet is expected to begin very early Friday morning before switching to snow around 4 a.m. Less than an inch is expected Friday morning before the precipitation becomes freezing rain around noon. The National Weather Service expects up to a half-inch of ice in the region and more sleet/snow could fall into Friday evening.
Forecasts call for more freezing rain overnight Friday, which will become sleet after midnight. Up to a half-inch of snow is expected to accumulate by sunrise Saturday. Snow could then continue sporadically through Saturday afternoon.
Pee Dee/Grand Strand region
Freezing Rain Advisories are in effect for several counties in northeastern South Carolina through the weekend. While the area is not expected to get any measurable ice or snowfall, emergency officials are still urging drivers to be careful while driving in unfamiliar icy roads. The affected counties under the advisory are Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties.
The state Emergency Management Division is monitoring conditions as it prepares for the complications that usually come with winter ice storms.
“There’s no such thing as a typical ice storm,” EMD spokesman Derrec Becker said. “Anytime that you have the potential for dangerous ice accumulations… there is going to be the potential for power outages and maybe even some hazardous road conditions. So we want people to not treat this as just another winter storm, but take safety precautions now while the weather is relatively nice.”
The state Department of Transportation (SCDOT) said it is continuing to pretreat roads and bridges throughout the Upstate Thursday. Crews have switched to 12-hour shifts in preparation for the anticipated extra work. An SCDOT release stated salt spreader trucks will begin driving Thursday night and will operate through Saturday morning.