Mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain called for in our forecast
Confidence is growing that the upstate could be impacted by a potentially major winter storm Saturday night into Sunday. The timing and the location of the low-pressure system will be the main factors in determining how much and what type of precipitation we will see.
Another factor is how much warmer air higher up in the atmosphere pushes into the area. If the upper levels remain below freezing, snow will be the biggest impact. If a shallow layer of warm air is present, then the snowflakes will melt and then refreeze, causing sleet. If a deeper area of warm air is in place, then the snowflakes will melt and freeze upon contact with ground surfaces, known as freezing rain. Several forecasting models are showing warm air in place aloft in the areas southeast of I-85, in particular, meaning our area could be impacted more by freezing rain and sleet, causing icy conditions and potential power outages.
The current forecast is calling for a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain at different times throughout the storm. Saturday, rain chances begin late in the afternoon, with the best chances coming after midnight. Snow could mix in in the early evening, as well, with the best chances for that after midnight, as well. The snow could mix with freezing rain toward morning on Sunday.
The Sunday forecast calls for a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain throughout the day on Sunday, possibly mixing with rain late Sunday afternoon. The precipitation chances beginning to drop after 5 p.m. Sunday, and the storm system exiting the area by 11 p.m. or so Sunday night. T
emperatures will remain cold throughout the period, with Saturday’s high in the upper 40s dropping below freezing overnight Saturday night. Sunday’s high is expected to peak just above freezing late Sunday afternoon, and the Sunday night low will be in the mid-20s. We will be watching the forecast closely and bring you the latest on WBCU. A lot can still change between now and the weekend.