Church-goers and anyone else venturing outdoors might have to deal with icy sidewalks and windshields for a time Sunday morning in parts of the Rock Hill area.
A storm system is expected to bring a mixed bag of wintry precipitation for a few hours around daybreak before temperatures warm enough to change the sleet and freezing rain to rain.
The National Weather Service has included York County in a large area under a Winter Weather Advisory from 3 to 10 a.m. Sunday, for minor accumulations of ice. The Weather Service says only a trace of ice accumulation is expected across much of York County, but ice buildups of up to .05 of an inch are possible in the northwest corner of the county.
Lancaster and Chester counties are not included in the advisory, as the bulk of the precipitation there is expected to fall as rain.
To the west, ice accumulations could reach .15 of an inch in Cherokee County.
National Weather Service meteorologist Rodney Hinson says precipitation likely will begin shortly before daybreak as sleet, then quickly change to freezing rain as a layer of warmer air aloft streams across the region. Temperatures at daybreak are expected to be near freezing in Rock Hill, but Hinson says the warmer air gradually will reach the surface by 8 or 9 a.m.
So the time frame when the wintry threat is the greatest will be from about 5 or 6 a.m. until 9 a.m.
Rain is expected to continue for the rest of the day, ending by early evening.
“With the relatively warm air developing during the day, wintry accumulations will be short-lived along and south of I-85,” Hinson says.
The S.C. Department of Transportation says it began preparing Friday for the wintry precipitation, spreading a brine solution on Interstates 85 and 77 and on other main routes. The DOT says its crews would continue working as long as the threat remains.
Authorities said travelers should use caution Sunday morning in areas under the advisory, and forecasters said travel to the Greenville-Spartanburg area or north into North Carolina could be hazardous as times. The freezing rain isn’t expected to change to rain until midday in the North Carolina foothills.
Temperatures won’t climb a lot Sunday, with a forecast high of only 40 degrees. Milder conditions are predicted early in the week, with highs in the low 50s Monday and the upper 50s Tuesday.