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Potential for some freezing rain Thursday night into Friday

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Futurecast

What a way to end 2017!

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Jasper and Beaufort Counties in South Carolina from 11 Thursday night until 9 Friday morning. The advisory means that periods of light freezing rain is expected during those times in South Carolina.

No advisories or warnings have been issued for any areas in Southeast Georgia.

The forecast is pretty difficult to predict because the models aren’t agreeing on what will happen. The models differ on when we could see temperatures dip below 32° and where this will occur.

Thursday evening, everyone will definitely see at minimum some rain. However, because temperatures are expected to hover several degrees above freezing, we anticipate Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Long, Wayne and Jeff Davis counties will see only rain. However, the further west and north you get away from the coast including Bulloch, Effingham, Candler, Hampton (SC) and Jasper (SC) counties will increase your chances of seeing temperatures dip into the low 30s possibly seeing some upper 20s which would make the rain freeze. The rain is expected to intensify Thursday afternoon. However, the freezing rain likely won’t happen until around 11 p.m. when many folks are inside for the night.

If you do see some freezing rain, it won’t be much. We’re talking about less than 0.05 inches which is about the thickness of a dime. However, this is still enough to make some bridges and roads slick. Make sure you take it easy tomorrow as you head to work or vacation for New Year’s Eve. I don’t anticipate any power outages or tree limbs to fall down as a result of the freezing rain.

We will not see any snow or sleet with this system and by Friday morning around 11, many areas start to see the clouds move out. Any freezing rain, I anticipate will melt by the late morning. By 3pm on Friday, I think everyone sees the sun again. Temperatures will also start rebounding to the mid to upper 50s.

What’s the difference between freezing rain and sleet?

FREEZING RAIN - Snow falls into a pocket of warm air and melts into rain. As the rain encounter a shallow layer of cold air (below 32°) near the earth's surface, it refreezes when it makes contact with cold objects (cars, bridges, streets, and trees) leaving a coating of ice.

SLEET - Snow falls into a pocket of warm air and melts into rain. Eventually, it re-enters a deep layer of cold air and refreezes into an ice pellet we call sleet. Sleet typically bounces when it hits the ground.