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Winter weather headed this way

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By Greg Summers

The winter storm system that is expected to blanket portions of the Carolinas on Tuesday, Jan. 28, has weather forecasters almost in a coin-flipping mood.

“Right now, we just aren’t sure,” said Larry Sprinkle of WCNC-TV in Charlotte, on Monday afternoon, Jan. 27. “This is one of those times that every computer model is different. They are all over the place.”

Flurries could start as early as 7 a.m. Tuesday and pick up as the day progresses.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for most of Central South Carolina, including Lancaster County, just before 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27.  

A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected, or are occurring, and makes travel hazardous and impossible at times. 

The winter storm warning is in effect from 11 a.m. Tuesday to 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The latest information for Lancaster County calls for accumulation of 1 to 3 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain. A line that includes much of Chesterfield County to Cheraw is forecasting accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. 

“The east and southeast portions of Lancaster County have the chance for the greatest amount of winter weather,” Sprinkle said. “But if the system changes one little bit, you’ll see more.”

Sprinkle said forecasters are confident that those from Darlington along a eastward path to the Carolinas coast, will see a significant amount of snowfall and ice. 

The heaviest winter weather is expected along a line that stretches from Columbia to Fayetteville, N.C., and then up into northeastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks, 

“The way this system is tracking, it’s going to be a real mess along the coast,” Sprinkle said. “The farther south you go, the worse it’s going to get.”

Sprinkle said Monday, he expects winds from the north at 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph, to sweep into the Piedmont by nightfall. 

“The one thing that people will notice is it’s going from the 60s today (Monday) to the mid-30s tomorrow (Tuesday),” Sprinkle said. “Darlington may see 70 (degrees) this afternoon and 30 tomorrow morning.” 

The S.C. Department of Transportation issued a special statement Monday, Jan. 27, that it was moving personnel and equipment to the places where they would needed the most. 

Starting Tuesday morning, SCDOT crews will work around the clock on 12-hour rotating shifts until the state’s roads are clear.

Here in District Four (Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union and York counties), crews started loading materials and applying brine to I-77 and I-85.

Temperatures are forecast in upper 20s and lower 30s on Tuesday afternoon and in the mid-20s Tuesday night. It should be in the mid 30s on Wednesday afternoon and in the teens Wednesday night.        

 

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