FIRST ALERT: Brief period of freezing rain, followed by a few strong storms
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A powerful storm system will deliver widespread winter weather across the Carolinas today with the brief window of freezing rain inland and heavy rain and a storm threat right along the beaches.
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. Scotland County is under a WINTER STORM WARNING where travel conditions will be tough throughout a good chunk of the day.
The best way to avoid issues today? Stay home! A light glaze of freezing rain is expected for far interior Horry County and with areas east of I-95. Light rain will turn heavy at times through the day, especially mid morning as temperatures climb. Areas in the far eastern portions of our viewing area will begin to warm up, quickly transitioning back to plain rain by the middle of the morning and into the early afternoon.
Inland areas will be near below or right at 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.
STRONG STORM THREAT
Along the Grand Strand today, temperatures will warm into the upper 50s to lower 60s as the low pressure system passes. While areas inland across the Carolinas will be dealing with freezing rain, sleet and snow, the potential for a few strong storms is looking likely for Horry and Georgetown Counties by the middle of the day.
The low pressure system will bring warmer temperatures and just enough spin for an isolated threat for a quick spin up today along the beaches. Regardless of severe storm or not, winds will be howling with wind gusts of 40-50 mph near the beaches. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Grand Strand is a level one severe weather risk for the potential for a strong storm or two throughout the middle of the day.
By the middle of the afternoon, we begin to dry out but the winds remain strong with wind gusts up to 40+ mph still possible behind this system as it moves out of the area!
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