COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – It is likely some parts of South Carolina will see a mix of winter weather over the weekend, and state emergency management officials encourage residents to be prepared.

Forecasters say people living in the upstate and midlands could experience a mix of snow, sleet, or ice beginning Saturday evening and into the day Sunday. Most of the state, like the Lowcountry and Peedee regions, will only see cold rain with a chance for thunderstorms.

Below freezing temperatures are expected to last through the start of next week, particularly during the night in the upstate.

“We are monitoring the possibility of winter storm weather in the Upstate and Midlands region this weekend. Residents in these areas should start monitoring local weather forecasts and prepare safety precautions ahead of this weekend.”

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster

“Motorists need to prepare for winter weather driving before a winter storm hits, especially those living in the Upstate or areas of our state that see more severe winter weather conditions,” said officials from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is urging motorists to check the forecast frequently and stay informed before travel because conditions on the roadways can deteriorate rapidly.

Troopers will be monitoring the roadways for hazardous road conditions.

SCDOT has been proactive in preparing for any possible weather. They are prepared to work around the clock using all available resources to make sure motorists are safe when traveling on roads and bridges if winter weather does impact the Palmetto State.

“We are closely monitoring the forecast for this weekend but rest assured that SCDOT is preparing for a worst-case scenario and will begin pre-treating highways as early as Thursday, Jan. 13,” said Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall.

SCDOT crews will deploy 60,000 tons of salt where needed along with over 525,000 gallons of salt brine and approximately 275,000 gallons of ice-breaking chemicals.

“SCDOT employees work 12-hour shifts of pre-emptive ice treatments, snow plowing, and spreading salt and other materials to achieve safer, improved road conditions,” the department said.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division provided several tips to help residents prepare for any possible winter weather conditions:

  • During winter storm weather, it is best to stay off the roads for unnecessary travel. If you must travel, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Check the fluids, battery, and tires. Ensure that your phone is charged and you have extra blankets and snacks in case of delays.  Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies only.
  • Remember to keep a full charge on your cell phone and mobile devices so they can be used during an emergency.
  • If you lose power, know how to report the outage to your utility company and have alternate, safe means of staying warm. 
  • Monitor local media for information about warming shelters opened by local organizations.
  • Freezing temperatures can burst water pipes in homes without heat or proper insulation. Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold.
  • Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them. 
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not burn charcoal indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from charcoal fumes indoors. 
  • Never operate a portable generator indoors. 
  • Keep fresh batteries on hand to use with flashlights and NOAA tone-alert weather radios. 
  • Provide some options for outdoor pets and domestic animals to stay warm and to have access to food and water.
  • Check on anyone who may need extra help during winter weather.