Cold weather not yet leaving the Rock Hill area

The cold temperatures that have gripped the region since Christmas will be here for a few more days.
The cold temperatures that have gripped the region since Christmas will be here for a few more days. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

The new has started with sub-freezing temperatures and forecasters calling for more bitter cold, and even a coastal snowfall, later in the week.

The latest in a series of arctic air masses descended into the Southeast on New Years Eve, sending temperatures tumbling across the Rock Hill area and the rest of the Carolinas.

Afternoon readings Sunday only reached 33 degrees in Rock Hill, and temperatures struggled to get into the 30s Monday afternoon

The coldest temperatures of the season were predicted for Monday night and Tuesday morning, with lows dropping into the lower teens. Not much recovery is forecast Tuesday, with afternoon highs climbing only into the mid 30s. Another night in the teens is forecast Tuesday.

The S.C. Emergency Management Division warned residents to protect water pipes that might be exposed, and officials across the state cautioned pet-owners to make sure their animals have shelter and water.

The cold wave is expected to continue through the week, with another arctic high pressure system predicted to plunge into the Rock Hill area Thursday. A slight moderation is forecast early next week, but National Weather Service meteorologists said that could bring the threat of wintry precipitation.

A more immediate concern about snow and sleet is being felt along the coast.

Forecasters say a low pressure system will move from the Gulf of Mexico across Florida and up the Carolinas coast Wednesday. Accumulations of snow and sleet are forecast in places that rarely see the white stuff -- like Savannah, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Snow is not expected to spread as far inland ad Rock Hill, but the Weather Service said Monday that the latest trends in computer guidance are showing frozen precipitation spreading farther west than originally thought.

“Given the cold air in place, this precipitation would likely fall as snow,” Weather Service meteorologist Danny Gant said. For now, the Weather Service is sticking with a dry forecast for the Rock Hill area.