Most of the Upstate and north central South Carolina are under a winter storm warning as forecasters believe it’s become all but certain those areas will see snow through Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service issued the advisory Thursday, expecting a potential 4-6 inches of accumulation could fall in some spots. The warning covers all counties from the North Carolina border in Oconee County across to Chesterfield County and down through the Piedmont to the northern Midlands. The agency said there is still a slighter chance for snow in the Midlands, but it depends where rain is falling when an arctic cold air mass arrives from the north.
“There will be a tight gradient between areas where there are 1 to 3 inches of snow and just all rain,” NWS meteorologist Chris Rohrbach said. “The area where that’s going to change over is going to be very quick. And it’s going to be somewhere in the Midlands.”
The Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from 7 pm Friday until 1 pm Saturday and covers Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Lancaster, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union and York counties. A Winter Storm Watch (which means such conditions are possible, but not necessarily expected) will be in effect across the northern Midlands, including Edgefield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties.
State Department of Transportation officials say crews are spending the next 24 hours placing salt, brine, and other material on roadways to help them avoid icing over before the storm hits. Chief Engineer for Operations Andy Leaphart said teams from the Lowcountry and coastal regions are being repositioned in the Upstate for additional manpower.
“Crews across the state have gotten all the equipment ready,” he said. “We are loading our spreaders, verifying that our supplies of salt, sand, calcium chloride and brine supplies are all what we need to begin action as soon as the actual winter weather arrives.”
Some weekend closings have already been announced across the Upstate in anticipation of the snow. Check local community and media sources for those listings.
Governor Nikki Haley has not yet declared a State of Emergency ahead of the storm, as her Alabama counterpart did Thursday. The declaration has less to do with the severity of a potential storm and more to deal with freeing up resources to respond.