Slim possibility of snow Saturday night; no threat to marathon

troot@thesunnews.comFebruary 15, 2013 

— A blast of arctic air moving through the area on Saturday could bring half an inch or less of snowfall, according to a hazardous weather outlook from forecasters with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.

That’s hardly a welcome foreast for Myrtle Beach Bi-Lo Marathon organizers, who well remember the angst and anger a snowstorm caused for the race in 2010.

But not to worry. While arctic cold will be moving north offshore on Saturday, and forecasters said some computer models show some accumulation of snow in the area Saturday night, the operative words here are “some” and “night.”

"I think we may be on the lucky side of it this year,” said Shaun Walsh, Myrtle Beach marathon president on Friday night. “I believe the weather is on our side this time."

“This is a case whereby the cold air is chasing the precipitation as it exits the region,” said Steve Pfaff, the warning coordination meteorologist in Wilmington. “As a result, rain developing during the day could mix with or change over to light snow in the evening.”

Forecasters called for cold but dry weather Saturday morning, but another front is expected to bring rain and possible snow Saturday afternoon and into the evening. No accumulation was expected at the coast, but one-third of an inch could fall farther inland, Pfaff said.

Horry County emergency officials don’t expect the weather change to impact the race as it did in 2010 when three inches of snow fell and Myrtle Beach officials cancelled the race.

“We’re monitoring but we don’t anticipate any issues for Horry County,” said Randy Webster, Horry County’s emergency management director.

Grand Strand ground temperatures are warm, which will inhibit accumulations on most roadways, Pfaff said.

“Also, we do not think this will be a heavy-type of snow that falls, thus no widespread power outages from downed limbs,” he said.

On Sunday, temperatures will rise to near 50 degrees during the day and drop down to near 27 overnight.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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