Midlands residents need to forget the upper 70s temperatures of Wednesday and prepare for the upper 20s early Friday.
Cold, dry air behind the front that moved through the area Wednesday will drop temperatures quickly tonight, bringing the first widespread readings in the 20s this season. The previous low this season at Columbia Metropolitan Airport has been 31 - several times.
The low temperatures aren't expected to cause problems for farmers because they're common for this time of year. Instead, farmers are struggling to deal with unusually heavy rainfall that has made it difficult to harvest or plant in recent weeks, said Hugh Weathers, state commissioner of agriculture.
The temperature is expected to warm into the 40s Friday afternoon before slipping back to near freezing Friday night, according to the National Weather Service. With a slight chance of rain Saturday morning comes the even more slight chance of sleet. Freezing rain isn't in the official forecast for Columbia, but it is mentioned in the Greenville area forecast.
Winds associated with the front that passed through Wednesday blew over several mobile homes in Laurens County, sending three people to hospitals with minor injuries, according to Laurens County officials.
Nearly an inch of rain fell in less than two hours in Columbia, and wind gusts of 45 mph (higher in some unofficial readings) knocked down tree limbs and power lines. Several thousand customers in the Upstate lost power during the early morning storm, according to Duke Energy.
The rains pushed several already swollen rivers near flood stage, but minor flooding along the rivers in central South Carolina caused few problems.