Columbia’s first snowfall in years forecast as temperatures plummet

·2 min read
Jeff Siner/jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Snow is in Columbia’s future.

The first accumulation of snowfall in the Columbia area in years is expected by Saturday morning as temperatures drop across central and eastern South Carolina.

“We are expecting a bit more snow in the Columbia area now than we were previously expecting,’’ said Matt Gropp, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

After 7 p.m. Friday, a band of snow is expected to fall in western Lexington County through Columbia, and it will move east across the middle part of South Carolina, he said.

About 1 to 2 inches are expected to accumulate, particularly across northern Richland County.

A winter storm warning has been issued for Kershaw, Lancaster, Chesterfield and Lee counties, where snow accumulations are expected to be greater.

Ice is not expected to be an issue in the Columbia area, but could be more of a problem in the Pee Dee region of the state east of the capital city. As temperatures go down, sleet and snow will begin to fall from just after sunset to about midnight, Gropp said.

“Pretty much everyone will wake up to some snow, especially northeast of Columbia,’’ he said. “Temperatures will be really cold. This is kind of a unique storm for South Carolina. Usually it snows and the stuff melts in a couple of hours. This is going to be kind of opposite of that.’’

Temperatures were expected to be in the 30s Friday night, dropping to the 20s by early morning. Saturday will remain cold, he said.

The last accumulation of any measure in Columbia occurred Jan. 17, 2017, when the area had 1/10 of an inch.

Gropp said the weather through the rest of January should be colder than normal. Typical daytime highs this time of year are in the upper 50s, with lows in the 30s. High temperatures Friday were only in the 30s.

The central and northern coastal parts of the state are expected to get snow and ice. The Upstate, where snow fell last week, is not expected to get snow.

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