FIRST ALERT: Heavy rain, strong winds, brief freezing rain moving in
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A powerful storm system will deliver widespread winter weather across the Carolinas on Sunday in addition to heavy rain and strong winds.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY remains in effect for interior Horry County through the Pee Dee. Ice storm warnings are in place just west of the area where significant accumulations of freezing rain are likely.
HORRY AND GEORGETOWN COUNTY
Along the beach, 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 be gusty through the day with gusts of 25 to 35 mph through the morning hours. A period of even stronger winds, with gusts as high as 40 to 50 mph will be possible along the beaches through midday Sunday.
PEE DEE, INCLUDING AREAS NEAR I-95
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued for far inland Horry County, Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, Williamsburg, and Robeson Counties for Sunday Morning. A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for Scotland County Sunday morning.
Inland areas will be near freezing Sunday morning. What might start as plain rain will transition to a period of freezing rain as temperatures fall just before sunrise Sunday morning. 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. Bridges and overpasses will be the first thing to see issues, followed by untreated roadways or back roads in those far inland communities.
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 best bet would be to remain home Sunday morning and allow the temperatures to warm up before you decide to head out. The worst of the ice will occur just to northwest and into 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.
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.
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