Snow, ice sleet expected this week in Carolinas

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 27, 2014

The National Weather Service’s updated forecast shows Rowan County has a 70 percent chance of seeing snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, with as much as 1 to 2 inches possible in the region.
A winter-weather advisory issued this afternoon says temperatures will plummet into the 20s on Tuesday as a storm system moves through the Carolinas.
The forecast now calls for snow beginning to fall in the afternoon Tuesday and a temperature in the upper 20s. The overnight low is to drop to 16 degrees with a chance for snow continuing until Wednesday morning. The forecast for Rowan County says less than an inch of snow is possible here.
Elsewhere in the Carolinas, forecasters say the winter storm could bring as much as 8 inches of snow, with the heaviest snowfall expected in eastern North Carolina and along the Outer Banks.
The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings and watches effective Tuesday morning from central and eastern South Carolina into eastern North Carolina.
Meteorologist Carin Goodall of the National Weather Service office in Morehead City said an arctic cold front would move through the region Monday and then stall offshore.
A low-pressure center forming along the front will then begin moving northeast, spinning moisture into the region with snow beginning as early as Tuesday morning and continuing well into Wednesday.
She said the worst time for travel would be overnight Tuesday, with heavy snow and wind gusts of up to 25 mph in eastern North Carolina. Temperatures will remain in the 20s with wind chills in the single digits.
“It’s unusual but not unheard of” to have such snow in the region, she said. “Two years ago we got about a foot on the Outer Banks.”
Winter storm warnings were being issued for northeastern South Carolina and all of eastern North Carolina. Winter storm watches were being posted for central and eastern South Carolina as well as into central North Carolina.
Concern about the storm prompted leaders of the South Carolina General Assembly on Monday to cancel this week’s legislative sessions in Columbia.
The weather service in Morehead City forecast 4 to 8 inches of snow with some higher amounts and the possibility of ice and sleet accumulating along the coast. Snowfall totals are expected to be less farther west, with about 2 to 5 inches in Raleigh.
The National Weather Service in Columbia also forecast snow and sleet accumulations of 2 to 5 inches in the South Carolina Midlands.
Forecasters said there could be ice accumulations of as much as a half-inch in the Columbia area and warned that travel will be dangerous, with potentially lengthy power interruptions.
South Carolina Electric & Gas warned customers about the approaching storm, telling them to assume any downed power line is live and never to use outdoor cooking stoves or grills for heat in case of outages.
Forecasters in Charleston said the storm was expected to bring as much as 2 inches of snow along the state’s coast and as much as a half-inch of ice in the area.
Small-craft maritime advisories were to take effect late Monday for the entire Carolinas coast from the Georgia to the Virginia state lines.
The worst conditions just offshore were expected Tuesday night with rain, freezing rain and sleet, seas up to 6 feet, and winds gusting as high as 35 mph.