A series of major winter storms are poised to cripple the Deep South, Southeast and Carolinas tonight through mid-week with heavy, wet snow and potentially crippling ice. Not only will travel be a nightmare, but widespread and lengthy power outages will be added into the mix as well.
Winter Weather Advisories, Winter Storm Warnings, and Freezing Rain Advisories extend from Oklahoma and Texas all the way to the Carolinas. An Ice Storm Warning is now in effect for parts of southeastern Georgia and southwestern South Carolina. Cities from Dallas to Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., as well as Columbia, S.C., are all included.
The storms could be a “catastrophic event” reaching “historical proportions,” the National Weather Service said. More than 1,000 flights have already been cancelled across the U.S. (along with more than 2,600 delays) as this winter storm system moved into the South — just 2 weeks after Atlanta was brought to its knees when a few inches of snow crippled the city.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for nearly a third of the state on Monday as salt trucks and snow plows were readied. The National Guard also has 1,400 four-wheel drive vehicles on standby to help anybody stranded.
“We are certainly ahead of the game this time, and that’s important,” Deal said. “We are trying to be ready, prepared and react as quickly as possible.”
This is the same storm that will charge up the Eastern Seaboard from mid-week and beyond, unleashing a punch of heavy, wet snow and potentially significant icing from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.
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The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team