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    Rare November Snow Blankets the South

    By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist
    November 30, 2011, 5:16:11 PM EST

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    Accumulating snow continues to impact parts of the South--a rare sight for November.

    Snow has been whitening non-paved surfaces in parts of the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee valleys since Monday afternoon, with more snow expected through the day today.

    Even people as far south as Haleyville, Ala., have been picking up snow.

    So far, many areas have reported anywhere between 1 and 3 inches of snow across parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. However, Denmark, Tenn., gathered 5 inches and Paragould, Ark. topped the list at 8 inches.

    Parts of the South are taking their turn at unusual, early-season snow before November comes to a close. While most places will experience just a few snowflakes, a narrow band of accumulating snow has set up over the interior.

    It is very rare to get a wrapped-up storm like this in the South. The storm is literally making its own cold pocket of air, producing snow in unusual places, according to Meteorologist Brian Edwards.

    As the storm matures, it will continue to produce a swath of accumulating snow from part of the Tennessee Valley before heading north to more traditional cold, snowy locations for late November.

    Due to the time of the year and the lack of cold weather thus far, road surface temperatures over much of the South are warm and the vast majority of the snow that falls will melt on pavement and concrete.


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    After what has been an unusually warm November for much of the East, some locations east of the Mississippi River will pick up snow during the last few days of the month.

    The snow can come down hard in some areas, greatly lowering the visibility, bringing risk to high-speed driving on highways such as I-24, I-40, I-55, I-65, I-75, I-81 and others.

    There will be a slushy accumulation on non-paved and elevated surfaces, such as grassy areas, roofs, cars, etc.

    In the southern Appalachians and other hilly areas, there can be some slushy and snow-covered roads, especially on bridges and overpasses.

    As the rare storm slowly spins northward Tuesday into Wednesday, some snow will also fall on the central Appalachians, westward to the central Great Lakes, central Ontario and Quebec. In these northern and mountainous areas, the snow will stick on pavement.

    The storm has already been bringing its share of rain too. Parts of the Ohio Valley were getting drenched with 2 to 4 inches of rain, leading to flooding concerns.

    The topsy-turvy weather pattern is driving cold air southward to the central Gulf Coast states, while pumping warm air northward into the northeastern United States.


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    The temperature was hovering in the low 30s in Shreveport, La. earlier Monday, while at the same time hovering near 50 degrees in Caribou, Maine.

    The temperature peaked close to 70 in a number of I-95 cities Monday, while reaching no higher than the 40s over much of the South Central states.

    New York City and other major metropolitan areas received unusually heavy snowfall during the last part of October this year. Since then temperatures have averaged 2 to 4 degrees above normal during November with virtually no snow to speak of.

    On average it snows less than three days per year in Memphis and just over two days per year in Atlanta. Snowflakes were already in the Memphis area Monday and could make a visit to Atlanta during part of Tuesday.

    Colder, more seasonable temperatures will fight its way into the Northeast during the middle of the week, while temperatures rebound to seasonable levels in the South during the second half of the week.

    This story was first published on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

    Meteorologist Bill Deger contributed to the content of this story.

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