By Saturday morning, the ground could have a light coat of snow.

The forecasted dusting would follow the strong winds Wednesday that knocked out power to more than 1,500 people and a freak display Tuesday of thunder and lightning accompanied by downpours.

Don't break a sweat. It's just another week of weird February weather in the Lowcountry, when temperatures can swing from the high 80s into the teens. Thunderstorms aren't uncommon and tornados have occurred.

Accumulation Friday night is expected to be less than a half an inch, a trace compared with the blizzards racking the East Coast from Virginia to New York.

But yeah, it really might snow.

"We need moisture and we need cold enough temperatures, and the question is, will they show up at the same time?" said meteorologist John Quagliariello, with the National Weather Service, Charleston.

He and meteorologist Frank Strait with, a private forecasting company, said a storm front bringing rain will tail in behind the front in the Atlantic that's blowing icy winds right now across the Lowcountry. According to the forecast, light rain should start by Friday evening, turning to a mix of sleet, rain and maybe snow during the night and -- maybe -- becoming a full snowfall in the late night.

Either way, the precipitation won't be enough to add much more flooding to a year's rainfall that's already nearly 4 inches above normal.

On Wednesday, sustained winds that rose to about 30 mph and powerful gusts that included a tropical-storm-strength 50 mph blast in Pineville knocked down trees and took out power lines across the Lowcountry, particularly in the Hanahan area near Ashley Phosphate Road, according to Scott Grigg, SCE&G public affairs supervisor. Electricity was out for several hours but restored by early evening.

Tuesday's thunderstorm was the predictable product of a spike in temperatures into the 60s and rising warm air, Quagliariello said.

"The quicker the air rises the more likely you are to have a thunderstorm," he said. The outbreak was a modest version of what happens in the classic summer thundershower. "It was just warm enough and there was just enough instability in the air."

February thunderstorms have made people jump before. In 1986, a Givhans woman said she watched a lightning strike pop out through her kitchen faucet and race through her kitchen.

"When it came, it was no bigger than a little blue pin-pointed flame," Judie Chelle told The Evening Post. It hit the dishwasher in the sink, jumped to the refrigerator and through a doorway, struck a dog dish and shot out the front door. A cat sleeping on top of a metal crate got a shock but wasn't hurt.

Reach Bo Petersen at 843-937-5744 or