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Freezing rain, ice, wintry mix Thursday, Friday for York County? Weather service says possible

The National Weather Service in a hazardous weather statement Monday said winter weather is possible starting Thursday for York, Chester and Lancaster counties because of an “arctic” blast, and the winter weather could last through Friday.
The National Weather Service in a hazardous weather statement Monday said winter weather is possible starting Thursday for York, Chester and Lancaster counties because of an “arctic” blast, and the winter weather could last through Friday. Herald file photo

There was no white Christmas Monday in York County, but forecasters say there could be freezing rain, ice and a wintry mix later this week.

The good news -- schools are closed for winter break. The bad news -- travel could be affected leading into the New Year weekend. But don’t rush to cacel your late-week travel plans because of the weather. Not yet, at least, say meteorologists.

The National Weather Service in a hazardous weather statement Monday said winter weather is possible starting Thursday for York, Chester and Lancaster counties because of an “arctic” blast, and the winter weather could last through Friday. However, forecasters say the latest data indicates the storm system might be moisture-starved.

“It is looking like a quick shot of mixed precipitation types, with little if any accumulations,” National Weather Service meteorologist Rodney Hinson said Monday morning.

Hinson and other meteorologists quickly add, however, that the forecast could change as the week progresses.

One thing they’re more certain about are temperatures. Hinson says it certainly will be cold enough for frozen precipitation to fall.

Rock Hill-area residents got a taste of that Christmas morning, after another in a series of cold fronts crossed the region overnight. Temperatures in the 30s and a northwest breeze produced wind chill readings in the 20s, and forecasters don’t expect afternoon highs to climb above the mid 40s.

Get used to that, because the chilly pattern is expected to last for the rest of 2017.

After highs in the mid and upper 40s Tuesday and Wednesday, another cold front is predicted to move through the area early Thursday. High temperatures Thursday afternoon are forecast to be in the mid 30s.

And that will set the stage for whatever arrives Thursday night.

The latest computer data indicates the storm system will not have much moisture. But not all of meteorologists’ computer models are in agreement, and there remain some predictions of heavier precipitation from the system.

Whatever falls is not likely to be snow, however. Hinson says temperatures a few thousand feet off the ground will be above freezing early Friday. That is a signal for sleet or freezing rain.

And precipitation left Friday morning is forecast to change to rain, as temperatures slowly struggle above the freezing mark.

After a day with highs in the mid 40s Saturday, yet another cold front will drop readings back into the 30s for Sunday. Forecasters say a second storm system could affect the Southeast on New Years Day.

What’s this mean for possible disruptions to the electricity grid? It is freezing rain and ice more than snow that generally causes problems with downed power lines and trees.

Check back for more.

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