Disruptive Snow to Slow Travel From Mississippi to Virginia
By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
February 26, 2015, 8:47:01 AM EST
Cold air from Canada and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will clash to bring a significant winter storm with accumulating snow and an icy mix in a large part of the South.
While much of the Deep South will expect rain into Thursday, a corridor of snow will set up along the northern periphery of the precipitation, reaching from northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas to the Carolinas and Virginia.
As much as 6 inches of snow fell on parts of northeastern Texas during Wednesday.
Travel delays and slippery roads will spread eastward near and north of Interstate-20 affecting Columbus and Greenville, Mississippi; Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama; Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta into Wednesday night.
The biggest impacts will be felt by travelers taking to the roads as snow, sleet and freezing rain are forecast to cause paved surfaces to become slick.
Colder conditions at night can cause wet surfaces to freeze, especially on the back roads, said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.
Significant flight delays and cancellations are possible through Thursday morning at the Atlanta International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the nation.
In part of the South, the snow will be heavy, wet and clinging.
According to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "The wet snow has the potential to bring down tree limbs and cause power outages as a result."
The greatest amount of snow from the storm will be felt in the southern Appalachian Mountains, across much of North Carolina and southern Virginia through Thursday morning.
The highest accumulations are expected over the mountains, but some spots in North Carolina and southern Virginia could pick up over 6 inches.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "The snow will come down at the rate of an inch an hour in parts of the south Wednesday night, which can quickly cover roads and catch motorists off guard."
The Thursday commute could be slow and difficult in the wake of the storm across eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, southern Virginia and the Carolinas due to snow-covered roads.
People from the northern Atlanta suburbs, northward to near Nashville, eastward to Greenville and Anderson, South Carolina; Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia; will be facing a significant winter storm.
Anyone that has to drive in this area Wednesday night into Thursday morning should allow ample time to reach their destination to account for lower travel speeds, accidents and lane closures.
Intermittent snow will extend into northern Virginia to the Delmarva Peninsula by Thursday morning. A small accumulation of snow is possible from Washington, D.C., to Dover, Delaware, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Some natural melting of the snow on the roads will occur during Thursday midday and afternoon, which may allow highway travel to improve somewhat, once roads are plowed.
Surfaces that remain wet and slushy into Thursday evening will become icy as temperatures rapidly fall below freezing.
Dry weather will be the theme across the Southeast on Friday with chilly air lingering around in the wake of the storm to close out the week.
Know when the snow will start at your exact location by using AccuWeather MinuteCast®
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