Heads Up: Winter storm system could impact the southeast later this week

Heads Up: Winter storm system could impact the southeast later this week

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A generally cold forecast prevails over the next seven days as reinforcing shots of cold air sink out of Canada and into the Lower 48.

Our next significant cold front slides through the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry Wednesday with colder air filtering in Wednesday night.

Unlike Christmas Eve's cold front, a train of weather disturbances are forecast to move across the southeastern United States along and behind the cold front; each producing a risk of precipitation.

Our first chance of chilly rain showers occurs Wednesday.

A more widespread cold rain may develop Thursday afternoon over our region; expanding to cover much of the southeastern United States late Thursday.

That is when the forecast gets interesting…. for some.

The rain will be falling into a cold air-mass near the surface Thursday evening through Friday morning. In fact, temperatures may be below freezing along portions of the Interstate 20 corridor; Atlanta to Augusta through the South Carolina Midlands.

If this sets up just right, an extended period of freezing rain and sleet is possible; peaking Thursday night. That is what this particular forecast model indicates will happen.

In a worst case, there would be travel delays and a risk of tree damage in the highlighted area.

There is still quite a bit of uncertainty and some forecast data keeps these weather disturbances weaker resulting in rain staying spotty and offshore. The ECMWF, European, Forecast Model indicates that is most likely to happen.

Obviously, there continues to be discrepancies between forecast data. The fine details that have a big impact on the local forecast, likely will not be worked out until Wednesday, or so. Either way, this is looking like a cold rain chance for the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

Of course, the First Alert Weather team will be monitoring the latest trends over the next few days to see if any inland portions of our area stand a risk of wintry precipitation Thursday and Friday.

We encourage you to keep a casual eye on the forecast; paying extra attention if you have travel plans through central Georgia and the South Carolina Midlands.

You can get the latest weather updates and stream complete newscasts at wtoc.com and in the WTOC Weather App.

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