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“DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER … MASS HYSTERIA!”

We’ve been pretty ho-hum in our coverage of oncoming Winter Storm Pax … in large part because Winter Storm Leon was such a dud.

Of course that was before we learned of a little something called the Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index – or the SIPA index. What’s that, you say? Glad you asked …

Named after Oklahomans Sidney Sperry (an electric cooperatives executive) and Steven Piltz (the head of the National Weather Service in Tulsa), the SIPA purports to measure ice storm intensity based on total precipitation, wind speed and direction and temperatures.

Introduced in 2007, the index incorporates these meteorological readings into a “Potential Utility Damage Scale” – enabling forecasters to alert the public to potential power outages in advance of oncoming storms.

So … what does that have to do with South Carolina?

Well according to the latest forecast models, huge swaths of the Palmetto State – including the Columbia, S.C. region – are in line to receive ice accumulations of more than one inch over the next 48-72 hours.

What does that mean? According to Sperry-Piltz, it means the potential for some serious damage.

Take a look …

spia

Yeah …

Take note of that stage five reading … which references “catastrophic damage to entire exposed utility systems” and power outages lasting “several weeks in some areas.”

Ummmmmm …. what????

Obviously we’re taking “Icepacalyse” predictions with a grain of salt … but this is clearly a system we’ll be eyeing closely over the next few days.

UPDATE: Yes, our sub-headline is from the movie Ghostbusters.