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FIRST ALERT: Deteriorating weather conditions through the day Friday

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 3:10 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:50 PM EST
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First Alert Winter Storm Update | Jan. 19, 2022

LIVE: Chief Meteorologist Jamie Arnold-WMBF is live now with the latest on a winter storm set to impact the Grand Strand and Pee Dee later this week. https://bit.ly/3589moL

Posted by WMBF News on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Friday and Saturday are now FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAYS as the risk of a significant winter storm increases for the Carolinas, bringing travel and possible power impacts to our area.

A Winter Storm Watch is out for the area starting Friday at midnight through Saturday Noon.
A Winter Storm Watch is out for the area starting Friday at midnight through Saturday Noon.(WMBF)

A WINTER STORM WATCH is now out for the entire area beginning at midnight on Friday and continuing through Saturday at noon. The watch includes the text that “forecast ice accumulations will make traveling extremely hazardous if not impossible. Power outages and trees damage will likely occur.” The watch will likely be upgraded to a winter storm warning on Thursday to signify that preparations for winter weather need to be completed.

Spotty freezing rain early Friday will turn more steady and widespread by the afternoon and...
Spotty freezing rain early Friday will turn more steady and widespread by the afternoon and evening.(WMBF)

A cold front will move in Thursday, bringing rainfall to the Carolinas during the afternoon and evening. After climbing into the 60s on Thursday afternoon, much colder air will move in behind the cold front LATE Thursday night. At the same time, a developing low pressure offshore will provide moisture across the Carolinas, including the Grand Strand and Pee Dee.

All suggest widespread freezing rain across the area by late Friday afternoon and evening.
All suggest widespread freezing rain across the area by late Friday afternoon and evening.(WMBF)

New data continues to show widespread freezing rain across the area Friday into Friday night. The freezing rain will be likely be light and spotty across the area early Friday morning before turning steadier and more widespread by the afternoon and evening and continuing into Friday night. Ice accumulations may become great enough for power outages and very difficult travel. Sleet may cut down on the amount of ice west of I-95 but will still make travel treacherous.

New data Wednesday morning continues to show widespread freezing rain across the area Friday...
New data Wednesday morning continues to show widespread freezing rain across the area Friday into Friday night.(Source: WMBF Weather)

LATEST TIMING

It’s important to note that this timing WILL CHANGE but here’s at least an idea of what we can expect for now.

By daybreak Friday, inland areas will likely be near or just below freezing while the Grand Strand will be just above freezing. Areas of light freezing rain will be likely inland from the beaches through the morning. The freezing rain could mix with a little sleet at times. Colder air will continue to gradually push into the area through the Friday with most areas below freezing by the mid to late afternoon. Rain along the Grand Strand will transition to freezing rain during the day.

As the sun sets Friday night, temperatures to drop into the lower to middle 20s. The very cold temperatures will lead to more periods of freezing rain and sleet at times and ice accumulations are looking more likely. How much ice develops is still uncertain at this point, but models continue to suggest that enough freezing rain and sleet may fall to cause some significant issues, including both travel and power outages. .

Only areas well inland will see accumulations of up to 1 inch of snow and sleet.
Only areas well inland will see accumulations of up to 1 inch of snow and sleet.(WMBF)

Most forecast models suggest the worst of the freezing rain and sleet will end around daybreak on Saturday. A brief period of light snow flurries may develop as the precipitation ends very late Friday night. Only areas well inland and near the NC boarder may see up to an inch of snow. No snow accumulations are expected across the rest of the region.

WHAT’S NEXT

With confidence increasing in the forecast. It’s important to start preparing for this storm, especially for the potential of ice Friday night and into Saturday morning. Make sure you do have a plan for power outages and have that First Alert Weather App downloaded.

Stay updated with the forecast with our weather team on Twitter.
Stay updated with the forecast with our weather team on Twitter.(WMBF)

Make sure you are also following our First Alert Weather Team on both Twitter and Facebook. They will continue to post updates throughout the week with changes to the forecast expected.

Stay updated with the forecast with our weather team on Facebook.
Stay updated with the forecast with our weather team on Facebook.(WMBF)

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