UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Approximately 29,848 power outages - mostly in the Upstate - have been reported by utility companies, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said in its latest winter weather update.
UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: Laurens County government officers will be closed for the remainder of the day Friday.
UPDATE 1:43 p.m.: A freezing rain advisory has been issued for Richland and Sumter counties by the National Weather Service. The advisory will remain in effect until 7 p.m. this evening.
Officials say there will be light accumulations of freezing rain and ice on trees and elevated surfaces. The freezing rain could result in patches of ice on bridges and overpasses, making travel hazardous. Light snow is possible late Friday and early Saturday.
UPDATE 1 p.m.: All Richland 2 schools will dismiss at normal times today but all after-school programs, events and activities have been canceled so students get home before dark. Parents with children in after-school child-care programs are asked to pick up their children after school as soon as possible.
All Saturday morning activities for all of the district’s schools are canceled or postponed, including the administration of the SAT at Ridge View and Spring Valley high schools. The status of Saturday afternoon and evening activities will be determined Saturday morning, officials said.
UPDATE 1 p.m.: The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will be closed to the public Friday due to unsafe weather and travel conditions. The zoo will operate on a two-hour delay Saturday. For additional updates, visit www.riverbanks.org, or www.facebook.com/riverbankszoo.
UPDATE: Kershaw County School District officials have announced early dismissal for schools in the North Central area of the county. Those schools are: Baron DeKalb Elementary, Bethune Elementary, Midway Elementary, Mt. Pisgah Elementary, North Central Middle and North Central High. These schools will be dismissed at 12:45 p.m., while other schools in the county will remain under normal operation.
As parts of Upstate and some northern Midlands counties woke up to snow on the ground, weather officials are still calling for Columbia to get a little dusting of snow.
Of course, that dusting will come with what many Midlands residents have become all too familiar with. Rain.
National Weather Service officials are calling for a 100 percent chance of rain throughout Friday afternoon with a high near 36 degrees. The rain will likely continue through Friday night into the early morning hours Saturday, which is when the low drops to 31 degrees and brings Columbia its best chance of receiving snow.
Officials predict there is a 50 percent chance of snow fall late Friday evening, bringing less than half an inch of snow.
There is a 40 percent chance of snow Saturday before noon and then, you guessed it, more rain. Saturday will be cloudy with a high near 39 and a 40 percent chance of precipitation throughout the day. Saturday evening will be mostly cloudy and then will become clear with a low around 29, officials say.
That breaks into sunny and clear weather, but still cold, Sunday and Monday, officials say.
In Lexington, officials say there is a 100 percent chance of rain mainly between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. with a high near 35. The rain will continue into the night, which will be cloudy with a low around 31. That is when officials say Lexington has a 70 percent chance that it could receive less than a half inch of snow, officials predict.
Like Columbia, Lexington has a 40 percent chance of seeing snow fall Saturday morning before 11 a.m., which is then expected to turn into rain as the high nears 39. Saturday evening will be mostly cloudy with a low around 29.
The cold weather will melt away as the sun, which is likely to stay until Tuesday afternoon, brings a high of 51, officials predict.
Freezing rain advisories remain in effect for Newberry, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee and Florence counties, while several counties that border North Carolina remain under a winter storm warning.
As temperatures drop throughout the day, South Carolina Department of Transportation officials are urging motorists to be cautious while traveling as the possibility of icy roads and bridges increases.
In other parts of the state, the wintry weather has caused some schools to close and hazardous driving conditions to develop.
Schools in Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg and Oconee counties were closed Friday morning as parts of the Upstate woke up to snow and ice. In Greenville, a mix of snow and sleet was expected to fall before dawn Friday and continue into Saturday, bringing 4 to 5 inches of snowfall and nearly a half inch of ice, the Weather Service said.
In Rock Hill, weather officials were calling for hazardous winter weather conditions beginning Friday morning with freezing rain and sleet, which would gradually change to snow on Friday night and Saturday morning. DOT officials have reported ice accumulation on some parts of I-77 in York County.
Freezing rain is a continued possibility for Horry County as the winter storm makes its way to the coast. Although only a trace amount of ice could occur, it is expected to cause dangerous driving conditions along roadways, especially on bridges and overpasses.
In Charlotte, officials say a third of an inch of ice could fall, which is more than enough to bring down tree limbs and power lines. Forecasters were also calling for up to 4.5 inches of snow in the city.
The State will monitor weather conditions and update this story as more information becomes available.
The Rock Hill Herald, the Charlotte Observer, the Greenville News and the Sun News contributed to this report.