A mere coating of snow and black ice can lead to a disaster, especially when it occurs in areas that rarely get these conditions, such as the southern U.S.
The same storm on target to spread enough snow to shovel and plow from North Dakota to parts of Illinois and Indiana Friday into Saturday is scheduled to make its next stop over the Virginias, northeastern Tennessee and part of North Carolina.
According to Winter Weather Expert Rob Miller, "Mostly snow will fall in the mountains from central West Virginia to western North Carolina Saturday, where a few inches can accumulate."
"Even in areas that receive melting snow or just rain farther east in North Carolina Saturday afternoon and evening, the temperature drop that follows soon thereafter could turn untreated wet areas to ice," Miller added.
People heading out and about Saturday night and/or off to services Sunday morning should take extra care due to potential for icy travel in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as areas farther east in northern Georgia, much of North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and southern Virginia.
Slippery areas may appear to be just wet, hence the name "black ice" or "clear ice."
As the storm pushes east of the Appalachians, precipitation is likely to be mixed with or fall entirely as rain, including in Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh. However, areas with the risk of black ice formation include these Southern cities.
A shift in the storm track by 50 to 100 miles could mean the difference between snow versus no snow, or snow versus rain.
It is the magnitude of the cold air coming into the Northeast that is driving the storm so far south and preventing it from turning northward upon reaching the Atlantic Coast.
However, the storm is expected to "hook" into northern New England and southeastern Canada next week.
Interestingly, some computer models have been toying with the idea of a nor'easter long about December 12. Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com for updates as to whether that storm is a "go" or a "fizzler."
A tropical threat from the Atlantic on the United States and Caribbean islands may increase into next week.
As temperatures rise through the weekend in the South, so will the risk for heat-related dangers.
United States residents may pay higher heating costs this fall as colder air is expected to grip the Rockies and Plains at times and some quick-hitting chilly shots may impact the Northeast.
A fresh shot of cool air will keep temperatures below normal in northern Europe through this weekend.
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Earthquakes raise fear of volcanic eruption in Iceland that could impact millions of travelers.
Southern Florida (1992)
Hurricane Andrew makes landfall in southern Florida as a Category 5 storm with wind gusts estimated in excess of 175 mph. Estimated damages exceeded $20 billion, more than 60 people were killed and approximately 2 million people were evacuated from their homes.
New England & North Carolina (1816)
Light frosts did damage in interior low places from New England to North Carolina.
Boston, MA (1851)
Track of tornado - Waltham, Belmont, Arlington (see other 1843 stories around this time). Apparently caused by excessively humid S or SW flow at western edge of a Bermuda high.