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The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Thursday urging residents to prepare for snow, freezing rain and very low temperatures over the next few days in the greater Robeson County area.
“Periods of freezing rain early Friday will mix with ice pellets and snow late Friday afternoon and likely become fully snow covered Friday evening,” the forecasters said in the advisory. “Total ice accumulations will vary between 0.05 and 0.20 inches. Total combined sleet and snow accumulations will be less than 1 inch.
The advisory says areas that will be affected include parts of northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina, including Robeson, Marlboro, Darlington, Dillon, Florence and Marion counties, as well as Lumberton, Bennettsville, McColl, Hartsville, Darlington, North Hartsville, Dillon, Florence, Marion and Mullins.
Robeson County largely escaped the weekend weather forecast, with only a handful of power outages reported, but Mother Nature will be back on Friday, this time threatening to bring snow to the area.
National Weather Service forecasters reported Monday that snow is possible as early as 11 p.m. Thursday when temperatures are expected to drop to around 26 degrees.
The chance of precipitation is 30%, according to a weather report released on Monday. Friday was expected to bring a 30% chance of snow before 1am, but did not provide an outlook for accumulation. Forecasters are expecting mostly cloudy skies with a low of around 23 degrees.
Any snowfall late in the week is likely to be short-lived as temperatures on Saturday are expected to reach around 38 degrees and 42 degrees on Sunday.
According to NWS data, the region has seen 3.41 inches of rain so far in January, which is significantly above the normal 1.79 inches, although last year the region saw 3, 33 inches of rain for the month so far.
Today’s record low temperature was set in 1977 when residents walked out at a bitterly cold 8 degrees, which was actually two degrees warmer than the 6 degrees recorded the previous day, a record for that day as well .
The 10 coldest days in January occurred on the following dates:
— January 2, 1985, -1 degrees;
— January 4, 1918, 4 degrees;
— January 11, 1982, 7 degrees;
— January 11, 1974, 7 degrees;
— January 13, 1981, 7 degrees;
— January 17, 1977, 6 degrees;
— January 19, 1994, 7 degrees;
— January 20, 1994, 7 degrees;
— January 21, 1985, -1 degrees;
— January 18, 1977, 8 degrees;
As of today’s date in 1943, the record high was set at 80 degrees, one of nine days in January that set records with temperatures in the 80s.
Residents may remember a balmy New Year’s Day just a few weeks ago. The National Weather Service recorded a record 81 degrees that day.
January’s record of over 80 degree days was:
— January 1, 2022, 81 degrees;
— January 3, 1952, 81 degrees;
— January 7, 1946, 80 degrees;
— January 13, 2017, 80 degrees;
— January 15, 1932, 80 degrees;
— January 17, 1943, 80 degrees;
— January 18, 1937, 80 degrees;
— January 27, 1950, 81 degrees;
— January 28, 1952, 80 degrees.
Freezing rain that battered the region over the weekend left some areas without power until Monday afternoon.
As of noon Sunday, Duke Energy reported that 27,000 customers had lost power in North Carolina and 40,000 customers in South Carolina had lost power.
“The hardest hit counties in North Carolina so far, in terms of power outages, include: Gaston, Jackson, Macon and Swain,” according to a report released Sunday.
“I thank our customers, in advance, for their patience and understanding during what could be a days-long power restoration process, given the expected widespread damage to our electrical distribution system in the two states,” said Jason Hollifield, Duke Energy Carolinas storm. director.
As wet and frigid conditions began to shift to the Carolinas, Duke Energy organized more than 11,000 workers – power line technicians, damage assessors and vegetation workers – throughout the region.
According to information from Duke Energy on Sunday, those workers included Duke Energy crews normally based in Florida, Indiana and Ohio – and mutual aid crews from other companies in Canada, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, in Louisiana, Oklahoma and other states – who traveled to the Carolinas to help efforts here.
Ice buildup on tree branches that caused them to fall on power lines was the main cause of power outages during the winter storm.
“Specifically, an ice accumulation of a quarter inch or more is often the threshold that causes trees and branches to fall,” Duke Energy officials said. “The heavy weight of heavy ice accretion directly on the power lines themselves can sometimes cause the lines to fall or sag. Heavy, wet snow six inches or more can also knock down trees and branches on power lines.
Residents experiencing outages can text the word “OUT” to 57801 to report an outage.