Arctic cold front to put Lowcountry in deep freeze

Just about a year ago, in late February, a cold spell had a Charleston carriage ride driver huddling for warmth.

An icy wind Wednesday will make it feel like the coldest night of the winter. But that’s just a shiver of what’s coming next weekend.

“A real live Arctic cold front” sweeps across the Lowcountry to make Sunday even colder, said meteorologist Steve Rowley, National Weather Service, Charleston. Wednesday, though, will be nothing to sneeze at, he said.

A cold wave sweeps in Tuesday, maybe even scattering a few snow flurries in the evening, with a low near or below freezing. Then it gets frigid. Wednesday is forecast to have 10 to 15 mph winds and they will blow the bottom out of the season.

Temperatures will be in the mid-20s The wind chill could be near the 15-degree mark where a cautioning advisory is issued in the Lowcountry.

Thursday and Friday warm up a nudge, with lows in the 30s. But Saturday night the Lowcountry will be back in the 20s, and Sunday the mercury might plummet to the teens, with a wind chill even colder. The only day the highs climb out of the 40s is forecast to be Friday.

The culprits are two waves of cold, dry Canadian air, according to Mark Malsick, state climate office severe-weather liaison. The Weather Service on Monday forecast the fronts to bring snow or heavy snow across the Midwest and Northeast, as far south as the Appalachian Mountains.

Reach Bo Petersen at 843-937-5744, @bopete on twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.