National Weather Service says no sleet, but warns of potential for black ice Wednesday morning

Reports of sleet in the area are swirling, but officials with the National Weather Service said residents should be more concerned about the potential for black ice in the Lowcountry on Wednesday morning.

“We launched a weather balloon at 6 p.m. and it didn’t seem like (sleet) was a really big threat,” said Carl Barnes, a meteorologist in Charleston. “At this point, everything appears to be moving out of the area.”

He added that there were no confirmed reports of sleet in the area. Lingering puddles from earlier rain, however, could prove to be problematic come sunrise.

Barnes said overnight temperatures in the Lowcountry will be right around freezing and colder moving inland, creating the potential for pooled water or moisture on the roadways to become black ice.

A special weather statement was issued warning residents of slippery roadways and slippery sidewalks.

“The risk for patchy black ice will be the greatest on elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses,” the statement reads. “Black ice may also form in parking lots and on sidewalks and driveways. Black ice is difficult to see and distinguish from dry surfaces.”

Barnes said residents should use caution in the morning. He also said Wednesday would be cooler than usual, with the high around 50 degrees.

“Tomorrow night will probably be really cold,” he added, noting that temperatures were expected to be in the mid to lower 20s. “There’s also the potential for dangerous wind chill.”

Barnes said warmer weather is expected to move back into the area Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 50s and 60s.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.