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FIRST ALERT: Winter Storm Watch issued for the Pee Dee ahead of freezing rain

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 2:28 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:43 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for counties across the Pee Dee ahead of the potential for freezing rain Sunday morning.

Temperatures will turn noticeably cooler by Saturday as clouds filter in and temperatures hold in the upper 40s. Despite the clouds, the day will be dry and a bit breeze at times.

As the large storm system pulls into the Carolinas late Saturday night and early Sunday, rain will overspread the region and will begin as a brief period of freezing rain across the Pee Dee. Freezing rain may lead to isolated power outages and slick roads along and west of Interstate 95.

HORRY AND GEORGETOWN COUNTY

Temperatures on Saturday night and Sunday morning will be safely above freezing meaning only rain is expected. Light rain will begin before sunrise on Sunday and turn heavy at times from the mid morning through the early afternoon. The rain will quickly taper off during the mid afternoon. Rainfall totals will reach as high as 2 to 2.5 inches and may result in ponding on roads and areas of standing water.

Winds will turn gusty as the storm system moves through Sunday afternoon. Expect wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph through Sunday afternoon with improvements arriving after sunset.

Heavy rain falls on Sunday.
Heavy rain falls on Sunday.(WMBF)

PEE DEE, INCLUDING AREAS NEAR I-95

A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, Scotland and Robeson Counties for Sunday morning.

Winter storm watch in effect for Sunday morning.
Winter storm watch in effect for Sunday morning.(WMBF)

Across the Pee Dee especially for areas along and west of Interstate 95, temperatures Sunday morning will be near freezing. As rain moves in, a period of freezing rain is likely. Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Bennettsville, Laurinburg and Lumberton will all likely see a period of freezing rain. Warmer air will move into the region by late morning and midday on Sunday and will quickly send temperatures above freezing ending the risk of accumulating ice.

Ice accumulations look minimal with a brief glaze to a tenth of an inch of ice for areas along and east of I-95. Areas west of I-95 may stay below freezing a little longer and see a bit more ice accumulation. Areas from Darlington to Hartsville, Bennettsville and across the border to Laurinburg may see ice accumulation up a quarter of an inch.

Ice accumulations across the Pee Dee may reach up to a quarter of an inch for areas west of I-95.
Ice accumulations across the Pee Dee may reach up to a quarter of an inch for areas west of I-95.(WMBF)

Slick spots on bridges and overpasses will be possible early Sunday morning. Areas that see ice accumulating up to a quarter of an inch may see a few tree limbs break along with the risk of isolated power outages.

The worst of the ice and freezing rain will occur just north and west of the area with a crippling ice storm likely for areas near Charlotte.

ACROSS THE CAROLINAS

The central and western Carolinas will see widespread and significant impacts from this winter storm. Areas from Charlotte through Greensboro will see the storm start as snow and then transition to a mix of sleet and freezing rain. Significant accumulations of snow will be topped off with potentially damaging accumulations of ice and will result in very dangerous travel and power outages.

Heavy snow will fall in the western Carolinas.
Heavy snow will fall in the western Carolinas.(WMBF)

In the foothills and mountains of the Carolinas, heavy snow will arrive late Saturday night and continue through Sunday. Widespread totals of 6 to 12 inches will be likely with some spots seeing even higher amounts.

Widespread power outages are likely across the central Carolinas.
Widespread power outages are likely across the central Carolinas.(WMBF)

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