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FIRST ALERT: Much of SC prepares for winter weather; here’s what to expect in the Lowcountry

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:18 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 4:26 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Live 5 Weather team declared Sunday a First Alert Weather Day as portions of the state prepare for the possibility of winter weather on Sunday.

Most of the Lowcountry, Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said, will see a lot of rain, but said there is a small chance that light freezing rain could fall at the onset of the storm on Sunday in areas west of I-95 or north of Lake Moultrie, which would include Orangeburg and Williamsburg Counties and even upper Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

Click here to download the free Live 5 First Alert Weather app.

Based on the current track of the system as of Thursday, Walsh said that even if light freezing rain falls, it would quickly change to rain with no accumulation expected.

“Of course, a change in the track of this storm system could shift areas impacted by winter weather,” he said.

Sunday is expected to be very wet with temperatures starting out near 40 degrees and warming into the 50s by late morning or early afternoon. There is also a small chance of a thunderstorm, Sovine said.

It will also turn windy as the storm blows through and wind gusts of up to 50 mph Sunday afternoon and evening are possible.

Midlands, Upstate warned to prepare for winter weather

Forecasters with the National Weather Service predicted the possibility of a wintry mix of snow, sleet ice and rain beginning Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said. They expect below-freezing temperatures to last through the start of next week, particularly at night.

Drivers who are traveling into those portions of the state should prepare for winter weather driving.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol urges motorists to check the weather forecast frequently and stay informed before and while traveling because conditions can deteriorate rapidly.

Troopers will be monitoring the roadways for hazardous road conditions during weather events and working with our partners to respond as quickly as possible.

The SCEMD released these winter weather safety precautions:

  • During winter storm weather, it is best to stay off the roads for unnecessary travel. If you must travel, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Check the fluids, battery, and tires. Ensure that your phone is charged and you have extra blankets and snacks in case of delays. Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies only.
  • Remember to keep a full charge on your cell phone and mobile devices so they can be used during an emergency.
  • If you lose power, know how to report the outage to your utility company and have alternate, safe means of staying warm.
  • Monitor local media for information about warming shelters opened by local organizations.
  • Freezing temperatures can burst water pipes in homes without heat or proper insulation. Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold.
  • Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not burn charcoal indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from charcoal fumes indoors.
  • Never operate a portable generator indoors.
  • Keep fresh batteries on hand to use with flashlights and NOAA tone-alert weather radios.
  • Provide some options for outdoor pets and domestic animals to stay warm and to have access to food and water.
  • Check on anyone who may need extra help during winter weather.

The official South Carolina Severe Winter Weather Guide contains checklists and tips on how to prepare for a winter storm.

SCEMD Director Kim Stenson is coordinating with all county emergency managers to make sure there are no unmet needs in terms of winter storm response resources.

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