UPDATE: 4:00 p.m.: TRAVEL ADVISORY: The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is advising travelers to use extreme caution when driving on I-77 between mile markers 62-93 because of icy conditions on the roadway.
UPDATE: 3:19 p.m.: The Associated Press is reporting at least one death blamed on Friday's weather. Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley says 52-year-old James Carroll lost control of his vehicle after hitting ice on U.S. 123 in Easley around 11 a.m. Friday. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene.
UPDATE: 2:33 p.m.: The South Carolina Department of Transportation says they have deployed 321 employees, 345 tons of salt, 90 tons of sand, 164,670 gallons of salt brine, and 144 snow plows, salt spreaders, sprayers and graders to aid in keeping the roads safe Friday afternoon.
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.: Tim Miller is reporting some vehicles traveling out of the Upstate into Newberry County on Interstate 26 are covered with frozen precipitation.
UPDATE: 12:55 p.m.: Tim Miller is reporting light, freezing rain and a bit of sleet falling in Newberry.
UPDATE: 11:44 a.m.: Government offices are closing early in Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties.
UPDATE: 11:27 a.m.: Gov. Nikki Haley has ordered all state government offices to follow the same winter weather hazard decisions made by county government officials.
UPDATE: 10:01 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Newberry, Fairfield, and Kershaw counties until 1 a.m. Saturday. The service expects mostly freezing rain and sleet from the system and ice accumulations of less than .05 of an inch.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In advance of what could be a day of spotty wintry precipitation in the Midlands, a few patches of sleet are moving into the area.
At least one WIS First Alert Weather Reporter is reporting "extremely light rain/sleet" in the Chapin area.
Freezing temperatures and a rush of moisture into the northern Midlands will give the area a chance of freezing rain and sleet today.
Highway crews with the South Carolina Department of Transportation are ready.
The Department of Transportation says crews have pretreated roads in the state's northern counties, which are expected to get frozen precipitation. DOT supervisors say road crews will be deployed Friday as needed.
Temperatures dipped below freezing late Thursday night into early this morning. A pocket of moisture moving towards north central South Carolina and North Carolina from the southwest will help to set up the possibility of some frozen precipitation.
At this point, it appears that moisture will arrive during the early afternoon. By that time temperatures will have warmed for most of us, according to First Alert Chief Meteorologist John Farley. That means that although most of us could see a brief period of sleet or freezing rain, it won't last. However, the Northern and Western Midlands could very well stay below freezing, which would mean several hours of freezing rain, Farley said.
Because there is not that much moisture to work with, accumulations will be on the light side. But they will likely be enough to cause some problems on the roads and especially bridges.
This storm will be a quick mover and it all should be over by late this evening.
According to Farley, Sleet is frozen pellets falling from the sky. Freezing rain is rain that freezes on contact.
If you're traveling to the Upstate or into North Carolina, the forecast is a little different. Those spots will stay below freezing, so they are much more likely to have problems.
Portions of the Upstate and parts of North Carolina and Georgia are under a winter storm watch from late Thursday through Friday evening.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says if you have to drive in the wintry precipitation Friday night, give yourself time to get to your destination so you don't have to rush, slow down, and look out for icy spots.
The watch area includes far northwest South Carolina, the mountains of southwest North Carolina and far northeast Georgia.
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