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Expect winter weather, freezing rain Friday

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National Weather Service issues Winter Weather Advisory for county

By Greg Summers

Much of Lancaster County saw its coldest morning in almost a year Wednesday with a reported temperature of 18 to 19 degrees.

But the cold Arctic air hasn’t quite worked its way out of the Carolinas.

This week, forecasters have been tracking a potential winter storm that could affect this portion of the Piedmont between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25.

The weather system should be small and quick-moving, said WCNC forecaster Larry Sprinkle.

However, the combination of cool, dry air and limited moisture may cause freezing rain, sleet and ice pellets to form, which could cause some local travel issues for the Friday afternoon commute.

Weather models are predicting winter precipitation for a large part of this area due to the combination of cold/dry air. Sprinkle said the amount of available moisture classifies this winter storm as a “significant event.”

Right now, he said forecasters are trying to pinpoint the timing of the winter storm’s movement. He said the hardest part is trying to determine what will happen when.

On Thursday, Jan. 24, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Lancaster County from noon Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday that calls for up to a half inch of freezing rain. 

The storm is expected to start in the North Carolina mountains about mid-morning and then work its way across the Piedmont.

“The latest models continue to trend colder and even drier air than in previous runs, with regards to the potential winter weather event into Friday night,” Sprinkle said. “At least two of the models are indicating that. Other models indicate just enough for icy problems in our region.”

With a high temperature just above freezing expected Friday, Sprinkle said it will be cold enough for freezing rain and sleet to form.

“The main issue is the amount of moisture,” he said.

 

 Contact copy editor Gregory A. Summers at (803) 283-1156.