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Dangerous wind chills possible across Palmetto State ahead of holiday weekend

Wind chills could be dangerous low Friday night
Meteorologist Justin Ballard
South Carolina Emergency Information Network
Potentially dangerous cold is possible across the state Friday night.

Wind chills could become dangerously low across the Palmetto State Friday night as Arctic air arrives in time for the holiday weekend.

The cold front, which pushed through the state early Friday, is ushering in gusty northwesterly winds across the entire state. Wind advisories are in effect as of publishing because gusts through Friday evening could occasionally reach 40 miles per hour. It's the combination of strong winds and falling temperatures that could create dangerous wind chills across the Palmetto State.

Wind Chill Advisories go into effect Friday night state-wide as wind chills are forecast to be near zero in Greenville-Spartanburg, near 10 degrees in Columbia, and in the teens in coastal areas. This type of cold could lead to frostbite or even hypothermia in as little as 30 minutes on exposed skin. Residents are encouraged to limit time outdoors, especially during the overnight hours Friday. If being outside is unavoidable, local National Weather Service offices across the state remind South Carolinians that dressing in layers is the best way to avoid frostbite or hypothermia.

The heart of the cold air, which has origins in the Arctic, will settle in Friday night as lows fall to near 10 in the highest elevations of the Upstate. Closer to the Midlands, low temperatures Friday night will settle into the teens. The only area of the state that could escape teens Friday night would be in the Lowcountry, but even in these areas forecast lows are expected to fall into the lower 20s. High temperatures will be well below average as well, with most locales barely making it into the 30s on Christmas Eve Day. Temperatures moderate a bit by Sunday but only be a handful of degrees. Both days of the holiday weekend are forecast to be in the 30s.

Residents are encouraged to prepare their homes for the winter chill over the next day or so before the heart of the cold air moves in on Friday. While the blast of winter chill is intense, it will be short-lived. Temperatures into next week will start to gradually warm up across the entire state, with the Climate Prediction Center outlook depicting the potential for above-average temperatures for New Year's Day.