Aiken might soon be turning into a winter wonderland.


The National Weather Service in Columbia has issued a winter storm watch for this area from late Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon.


“We're expecting snow and sleet to develop Tuesday, especially during the afternoon, and the snow chance will become more likely on Tuesday night,” said Whitney Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It looks like snow and sleet will be the main issues in Aiken, but there could be ice. We're expecting freezing rain to be more of a problem in the Eastern Midlands.”


One to three inches of snow and/or sleet could cover the ground in Aiken. According to Smith, the high temperature on Tuesday will be around 36 degrees. The low early Wednesday morning will be about 22 degrees, and the high later in the day on Wednesday will be around 35 degrees.


After a high in the 60s today, “a strong cold front is going to be pushing through the area on Monday night, and there will be much colder air behind it,” Smith said. “That cold front is going to stall just off the coast, and low pressure is going to develop along the stalled front. The offshore low will push moisture inland. The combination of moisture and the cold air will cause the winter precipitation.”


The chance of precipitation in the Aiken area will be close to 50 percent late in the afternoon on Tuesday, and it will rise to around 75 percent by 1 a.m. on Wednesday.


“From there, it will gradually decrease, and we're expecting it to dry out by Wednesday night,” Smith said.


Travel conditions could become hazardous on Tuesday and Wednesday. Downed trees and power lines, along with power outages, are possible.


Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard.