Winter weather moves into S.C., flurries possible in Lowcountry Saturday

Winter weather moves into S.C., flurries possible in Lowcountry Saturday
Published: Jan. 22, 2016 at 4:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2016 at 5:19 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Heavy rain had Lowcountry residents reaching for umbrellas Friday as South Carolinians in the northern part of the state saw the arrival of snowfall.

State government officers in nine counties are closed Friday, while some others are operating on delays because of the threat of winter weather.

MOBILE USERS: Click here to see First Alert Future Tracker through Saturday.

The winter storm system began dumping snow in Virginia, Tennessee and other parts of the South on Friday, and forecasters say snowfall as heavy as one to three inches per hour could last for 24 hours or more in some areas.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser asked residents to "hunker down" and "shelter in place" Friday morning, hours before snow was expected to begin falling in the nation's capital.

READ: Blizzard dumps snow in South

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through 7 p.m. Saturday for Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, Union, Cherokee, York, Chester, Lancaster, Chesterfield, Darlington, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties.

READ: Rain, snow, sleet area wide Friday morning in Upstate

Newberry, Fairfield, Kershaw and Lee Counties are under a freezing rain advisory until 2 p.m. Saturday, while Florence, Marion and Horry Counties are under a freezing rain advisory until 1 p.m. Friday.

Abbeville and Greenwood Counties are under a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m. Saturday.

Forecasters say damaging ice accumulations are likely across portions of the Piedmont and Foothills while heavy snow is expected across portions of the mountains and into North Carolina. Snow accumulation of three to five inches across the Foothills of South Carolina is possible, and up to six to 10 inches is possible across the mountains.

PICSMajor snowfall takes aim at Eastern US

Between one quarter and one half-inch of ice is also expected with the highest ice accumulations likely from Gaffney to the Charlotte Metro area, forecasters say.

Heavy snow and significant ice accumulation could make travel dangerous through Saturday. Wind gusts could topple trees and limbs resulting in downed lines and power outages.

Offices in Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Greenville, Fairfield, Lancaster, Pickens, Spartanburg and York Counties are closed for the day, according to South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker.

State offices in Darlington, Laurens and Florence Counties are on a two-hour delay, while Oconee County offices are operating on a three-hour delay.

The storm is expected to redevelop off the Carolina coast Friday night, leading to the possibility of a wintry mix of significant freezing rain through the evening.

Light snow is expected in the northern Midlands of South Carolina Friday night into Saturday, but the bigger threat is likely significant icing.

The state's Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be prepared for a variety of weather and road conditions statewide.

Widespread light to moderate showers strengthens to heavy rain and possible thunderstorms Friday afternoon, with temperatures reaching into the mid 50s.

Rainfall totals could top one inch in many spots across the Lowcountry, Live 5 Meteorologist Justin Lock said.

Saturday will be cold, cloudy and breezy with highs in the mid 40s.

Early Saturday morning, snow flurries could mix in briefly with leftover showers, Lock said, but no accumulation is expected.

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