CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Winter weather is threatening the Lowcountry this weekend.

And while it does not happen often, there have been a few winter weather events to strike the area in the past decade.

2011 Ice Storm

In early January 2011, a winter storm tracked across the Carolinas bringing snow, sleet, and freezing rain with it. While Charleston did not see snow that year, it did see periods of moderate to heavy freezing rain. Ice accumulated quickly in the early morning hours which created major travel disruption and brought down trees and power lines across the area.

According to the National Weather Service, Charleston County saw 0.5 inches of ice, Berkeley County saw up to 1.5 inches of ice, and Dorchester County only saw trace amounts of ice.

2014 Ice Storms

2014 was the big year for ice in the Lowcountry which saw two ice storms within weeks of each other. The first happened at the end of January and was a typical case of freezing rain. Temperatures reached the low 30s and a quarter-inch of ice was reported in parts of Charleston and Dorchester counties.

The second ice storm came in February and it hit many areas harder than the January event had. Ice totals reached 1 inch in parts of Berkeley, Dorchester, and Colleton counties and Charleston county saw as much as a third of an inch. The impacts of the February event were far-reaching and forced South Carolina to declare a State of Emergency. Power lines and trees toppled leaving some inland areas without power (and heat) for weeks after the storm

The biggest problem with these winter storms was the impact of travel. During both of these events, the Ravenel Bridge was shut down for three days and in January there were reports of ice falling from the towers of the bridge, causing damage to vehicles and resulting in one non-life-threatening injury.

So can we expect an ice storm in 2022?

News 2 meteorologist, Rob Fowler, said the Lowcountry is unlikely to see an ice storm as severe as the ones in 2014, but some ice is possible.

In the latest bulletin from the National Weather Services, areas in South Carolina that could be impacted by winter weather may see estimated ice accumulations between 0.20 to 0.40 inches and around one-tenth of an inch along the immediate coast.

“The forecasted ice accumulations will make travel extremely hazardous if not impossible. Power outages and tree damage will likely occur with these potential ice amounts,” the National Weather Service said.

Fowler said those further inland may see some black ice on the roads, so caution should be taken if traveling on Saturday morning.

Watches have already been issued for Georgetown and Williamsburg counties.

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