For the third week in a row, winter weather is expected to affect the Midlands.
Snow and extremely cold temperatures are in the weekend forecast, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Gropp told The State Wednesday.
“Right now we’re in a holding pattern with a development off the Carolina coast, but that could produce snow showers,” Gropp said.
Any snow is predicted to begin falling at about 8 p.m. on Friday, and could continue through 8 a.m. Saturday, according to Gropp.
There’s high confidence it will rain during the day before temperatures drop after dark and snow is possible, the National Weather Service said.
As has been the case with winter storms in each of the past two weekends, the northern parts of the Midlands are likely to see the most snowfall, according to the National Weather Service. Up to an inch of snow could be recorded in Kershaw, Lee, Lancaster and Chesterfield counties, Gropp said.
There is one major change from the past two storms that have hit the Midlands. Neither freezing rain nor sleet are included in the forecast, according to Gropp.
“It’s either going to rain or snow,” Gropp said.
Even without any ice building up on the roads, the precipitation could cause minor travel impacts for drivers, according to the National Weather Service.
There’s a 30% chance of precipitation in Columbia, the forecast shows.
Last weekend, the National Weather Service said 2 inches of snowfall was recorded at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, making it the first time any measurable amount had fallen on Columbia since 2017.
While there is a chance of more snow overnight Friday, the white stuff is not expected to accumulate this time.
Because ground temperatures will be warmer than they were a week ago, the snow is not expected to stick on any surface other than grass, and that won’t be for long, according to Gropp.
“There could be quick moving snow showers and flurries,” Gropp said. “We’re not expecting any accumulation, but this has been one of the most active winters since 2014.”
What is expected are bone-chilling temperatures after the storm moves out of the area on Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to be in the high 30s during the day, and will drop into the teens, according to Gropp.
“It will be really cold Saturday,” Gropp said. “Temperatures will be well below average for this time of year and it could be the coldest air of the season.”
The chills will not last for long in the Midlands. Beginning Sunday, temperatures will rise toward the 50s, where it will stay at the beginning of next week before hitting the high 60s and possibly 70 degrees on Feb. 3, according to the long-range forecast.
“By the end of next week it will be well above normal temperatures for this time of year. The 70s are possible, but the high 60s are forecast,” Gropp said.
Don’t expect more snow in the Columbia area for a fourth week in a row.