Winter storm watch issued as icy weather expected - FOX Carolina 21

Winter storm watch issued as icy weather expected

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Ice coats the limbs of a tree in Greenville after a winter storm. (Dec. 2005/FOX Carolina) Ice coats the limbs of a tree in Greenville after a winter storm. (Dec. 2005/FOX Carolina)

A forecast wintry mix for parts of the western Carolinas prompted officials to issue a winter storm watch.

The National Weather Service issued the watch from late Thursday night to Friday evening for Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Transylvania counties in North Carolina and the northern part of Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina.

FOX Carolina Chief Meteorologist Kendra Kent said sleet will develop through the morning Friday, before changing to freezing rain by late morning. She said the precipitation may change to all rain by late afternoon as warmer air moves in to the region.

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Kent said depending on how much of the precipitation makes it through very dry air, ice accumulations of up to a half-inch are possible in the mountains, and up to a quarter-inch in the northern Upstate.

The biggest problems will likely occur on bridges and overpasses, which cool faster than other surfaces, Kent said. She said power outages could happen where ice heavily accumulates.

The possibility of icy weather prompted some schools to reschedule events set for Friday night to Thursday night.

Spartanburg County Emergency Management Coordinator Doug Bryson said officials will conduct an exercise Thursday morning aimed at preparing crews to respond to winter weather.

Sunshine is expected to return by Saturday with temperatures climbing into the lower 40s for the Upstate and upper 30s for the mountains.

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