Winter storm watch in effect Friday into Saturday evening

Corryn Brock, Associate News Editor

A Winter Storm Watch from the National Weather Service will be in effect late Friday evening into Saturday evening.

Heavy, mixed precipitation is possible, and WEIU’s Newswatch’s local forecaster Everett Lau said what the Charleston area ends up getting depends on how the system comes through.

“Right forecast models are hinting at a wintery mix with some freezing rain to start, so that would put down a layer of ice on the ground and as temperatures cool off Saturday,” he said.

According to Lau, forecast models are currently showing that the area will get a wintery mix, starting with freezing rain and ending with snow.

Drivers should be cautious of snow-covered ice if they choose to drive.

However, some variations of the model are possible.

“If forecast models change and that system pushes to the south, we will get all snow here,” Lau said. “If it pushes to the north, we will get more ice.”

High winds are expected.

Lau said sustained winds are expected to be 25-30 miles per hour, with gusts approaching 40 mph.

“Any snow, regardless of the amount, is going to be blowing around,” Lau said. “Visibility is going to be really low, especially if anyone is going to be out driving in open areas.”

Wind may cause other issues if there is a layer of ice on power lines and tree branches because it will make them more prone to snap.

Wind can cause people to get colder faster, so it is recommended to keep at least a half tank of gas, warm clothes and blankets in vehicles for those who choose to drive.

“Stay bundled up if you’re going to be out traveling,” Lau said. “Those winds will continue on Sunday and will make it feel like it’s in the single digits for most of the day. It’s definitely not going to be pleasant to be outside Sunday.”

Lau recommends staying up-to-date on forecasts by using local forecasters instead of apps and staying home over the weekend.

“Keep checking local media and basically any forecast that is local and has a face with it,” Lau said. “With weather apps, you don’t know who’s putting that information in, and most of the time, it’s just a computer.”

According to Charleston City Code 6-2-7, it is unlawful to park on the following streets after snow accumulation is in excess of two inches: Grant Avenue from University Drive to 4th Street, Harrison Avenue, Jackson Avenue and Monroe Avenue from Division Street to 18th Street, 6th and 7th Streets from Railroad Avenue to Lincoln Avenue and 10th and 11th Streets from Monroe Avenue to Lincoln Avenue.

Vehicles parked along the designated areas will be towed prior to snow removal. Parking along the routes will remain unlawful until the Emergency Snow Routes are canceled.

According to the Charleston Street Department, “within three hours after the snow stops falling, the priority streets will be cleared.  At that time, snow and ice removal begins on secondary streets, which include residential streets, cul-de-sacs and City-owned parking lots.”

Snow and ice removal crews will be working until the removal is completed, according to the department.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].