The bad news: We’ll be lucky to see above-freezing temperatures for the rest of the week.
The good news: It will warm up next week, but only after we see likely freezing rain Monday morning.
The frigid weather pattern that began Christmas Day is forecast to break down, but only after several more days of frigid temperatures that bring a threat of more frozen water pipes and sky-high heating bills in the York County area.
Circulation around the huge winter storm system that plowed up the East Coast on Thursday brought gusty northwest winds to the Rock Hill area, combining with near- freezing temperatures to produce wind chills in the teens. Forecasters expect winds to relent Friday, but the cold weather will remain.
High temperatures are forecast to be a degree or two above freezing through Saturday, with morning lows in the low teens. And forecasters aren’t ruling out single-digit lows in some places.
Rock Hill recorded a low of 8 degrees Tuesday morning, and area plumbing companies said they were kept busy dealing with burst water pipes in homes and businesses. Katie Quinn, a spokesperson for Rock Hill, said problems are most likely with older pipes.
“In this extreme cold, some older pipes can crack,” Quinn said.
The area was fortunate – or unfortunate, for snow-lovers – to escape the frozen precipitation that fell Wednesday in eastern South Carolina. Accumulating snow was reported as close as Chesterfield and Sumter counties.
By Sunday, the cold high pressure system will move off the East Coast, allowing temperatures to climb into the upper 30s.
But the next storm system is expected to arrive early Monday. National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Kimball said temperatures will be cold enough for precipitation to begin in frozen form.
Kimball said data from computer models suggest “whatever falls will start out as a sleet-freezing rain mix or freezing rain, then transition to rain-freezing rain in the late morning to midday, before turning to all rain by early afternoon.”
Kimball said precipitation totals will be light, “but this will be enough to cause slippery road conditions.”
Afterward, high temperatures are forecast to climb into the low 50s for Tuesday through next Thursday.
The Herald’s Andrew Dys contributed.