Cold rains expected in Myrtle Beach Friday

akelley@thesunnews.comJanuary 23, 2013 

— The winter weather may feel even colder on Friday when rain is expected to hit the Grand Strand, and in some places it could freeze, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.

Rainy conditions will over-run a surge of cold air that arrives Thursday and lingers into Friday, said Steve Pfaff with the NWS. “The air mass is expected to be cooled enough to support a mix of wintry weather.”

For the coast, he said that means cold rain, but inland areas will see a mix of sleet, rain and freezing rain. West of I-95, Pfaff said, there will be a mixture of sleet and possibly snow.

Forecasters said the mercury could drop as low as 20 degrees Thursday night. The temperature in Myrtle Beach is expected to hit 40 degrees on Friday with a low just above freezing at 33 degrees Friday night.

Randy Webster, emergency management director in Horry County, said his office expects to know more about the potential for hazardous conditions Thursday.

“We got the heads up from the National Weather Service,” he said. “We’re just watching it and waiting to see what that next forecast tells us.”

Teal Harding, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools, said the schools tend to make weather related decisions based on recommendations from Horry County Emergency Management. Friday’s weather isn’t yet a concern, she said.

The expected accumulation is low, around ½ inch, but Pfaff said that still means hazardous road conditions could occur with the greatest impact on inland bridges, overpasses and exposed open secondary roadways.

The cold, dry-air mass covering the area will prevent the initial rounds of precipitation from hitting the ground Friday morning, but that’s expected to change Friday afternoon when the wintry mix will reach the ground.

Forecasters expect the wet weather to clear out by Saturday morning, with a warm-up early next week. Temperatures could hit 60 degrees in Myrtle Beach on Monday.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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