Southern Winter Snow Storm 2014: Snow, Ice to Hit Deep South
The Deep South--an area more accustomed to balmy weather and hurricanes--is going to be hit with a potentially major winter storm this week.
According to Weather.com, the storm is amassing due to frigid arctic air moving southward behind a cold front, while moisture moves north from the Gulf Coast.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches and warnings from southeast Texas eastward, along the Gulf Coast through Georgia, the bottom half of South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia. It is the first winter storm watch issued for Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga. since Feb. 11, 2010.
It is the second time a winter storm watch has been issued for Houston in the past five days.
Freezing temperatures will reach the Deep South Monday night, with temperatures at or below freezing by Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, the cold front will develop across the entire Gulf Coast, except for southwest Florida, and the Atlantic Coast of the Southeast. Precipitation will develop from South Texas to the Carolinas.
In some areas where the atmosphere will be below freezing, snow could develop. In areas closest to the Gulf Coast, there will be a layer of above-freezing air above the ground, which could lead to sleet and/or freezing rain.
By Tuesday night, heavier precipitation will form from the central Gulf Coast to the Carolinas. The low-pressure precipitation could bring heavier snowfall and/or ice accumulation in those areas, depending upon the temperature in the atmosphere.
Precipitation will end west of the Florida Panhandle by Wednesday morning, but precipitation will linger from central and northern Flordia to southeast Virginia. While wintry precipitation will likely stay north of the Florida/Georgia border, there could be additional snow and ice from south Georgia northward.
While computer models differ on the placement of the heaviest snow and ice, the most moisture will appear in the areas along the coasts, meaning snow and ice accumulations could be heavy, especially from central and south Georgia to the eastern Carolinas.
The most icing could appear from southeast Louisiana to south Alabama, south Georgia and coastal South Carolina. The icing could lead to falling tree branches and power outages.
The areas with the greatest chance for snow accumulations will be central Georgia into central South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia. If the precipitation falls as snow and does not mix with sleet, the areas could see up to six inches or more.
The threat of icing and snow could also extend into southern Mississippi, Louisiana and southeast Texas.
Hazardous travel is likely in the Deep South due to the wintry weather.
Most accumulating wintry precipitation will stay south of the Interstate 20 corridor from Dallas-Dort Worth to the Mississippi River. There is more of a chance of light snow accumulations for Jackson, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta, Ga.
If ice accumulations occur, there could be widespread power outages and road blockages due to falling tree limbs, and travel could become dangerous. People living in the affected areas are implored to take adequate precautions.