Winter swept back into the Carolinas on Tuesday, bringing colder temperatures and a biting wind chill to the Rock Hill area.
Winter’s return meant a couple inches of snowfall overnight in the North Carolina mountains.
A dip in the jet stream is allowing arctic air to funnel back into the eastern half of the United States, much like during the first half of January. With minor fluctuations, the cold air is expected to hang around for at least the next week.
Afternoon highs reached the lower 40s across the Rock Hill area. And with a northwest wind gusting at times to near 20 mph, wind chills were expected to be in the upper 20s and lower 30s.
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The passage of the cold front Monday night was accompanied by snow showers in the N.C. mountains. Schools were closed Tuesday in several counties, and 1-4 inches of snow accumulated in elevations above 3,000 feet.
National Weather Service meteorologist Pat Moore said winds will die down Tuesday night, but temperatures are expected to fall into the lower 20s. Wednesday is expected to be another sunny but cold day, with afternoon highs in the upper 40s.
Temperatures are forecast to climb back into the upper 50s Thursday, but the warmup will be short-lived. Another cold front is predicted to cross the area Thursday night, sending afternoon highs back down into the 40s for Friday and Saturday.
Meteorologists are watching a complex weather pattern that could bring a few snow showers, or snow mixed with rain, to the Piedmont for a few hours Sunday morning. Weather Service meteorologist Doug Outlaw said computer models are at odds over the amount of precipitation and temperatures with the system this far in advance.