Frigid nights, black ice to follow southern US snowstorm through midweek

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 11, 2018, 11:00:58 PM EST


Following the storm that dropped up to 2 feet of snow and cut power to hundreds of thousands into Monday, frigid nights will set the stage for difficulties for those without a means for heat and motorists traveling on icy roads.

Areas from North Georgia and northernmost South Carolina to eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, central and western North Carolina, southern West Virginia, central Virginia and southern Maryland were hit with heavy snow and/or ice from the most recent storm.

Static Storm Total Snowfall


Cold to continue for those without power

While crews have already begun the restoration process, tens of thousands may remain without power into the middle of the week.

As of 11:00 p.m. EST Tuesday, there were approximately 15,000 people without power in the wake of the storm. This includes outages in the states of North Carolina and Virginia.

Even after the storm departs, wintry trouble will remain.

Static South Cold


"A clear sky, light winds and an extensive deep snow cover will allow temperatures to plummet at night," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis.

Low temperatures are forecast to dip into the teens and 20s F through Tuesday night and into the 20s to lower 30s Wednesday night.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how cold the weather will be for your area.

Record lows this time of the year are generally in the single digits to middle teens. However, under perfect conditions, a few spots may have temperatures dip to record-challenging levels.

Overall, temperatures will average as much as 10 degrees below normal through Wednesday.

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People are reminded to never operate generators indoors, including in attached garages. Odorless fumes can seep into living areas.

Officials caution against using propane stoves or kerosene heaters to heat your home, since these units have no way to efficiently vent fumes outdoors.

Improper use of generators, gas stoves and portable gas heaters can be deadly.

Using heaters or fireplaces that vent to the outside are much safer.

Static Chimney Draft


Melting and freezing cycles to continue through midweek

During the day, temperatures are forecast to climb into the 30s and 40s.

"Melting that occurs during the day will lead to wet streets and sidewalks," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

"Where this water does not dry off or is not treated with ice-melting compounds, a thin sheet of ice, known as black ice, is likely to form," Anderson said.

Static Black Ice Tues Night


This freeze-up may begin as early as the late afternoon and early evening hours each day through midweek. Some of the first areas to turn icy are likely to be in locations that are not exposed to the sun or on elevated surfaces, such as bridges, overpasses and stairways.

Motorists and pedestrians should assume that any areas that appear wet during the evening and morning commute times are icy.

More typical December Southern weather to return

During the second half of the week, temperatures are forecast to moderate significantly.

While a few patches of black ice are possible on Thursday morning, the threat should not repeat Thursday night as clouds from the next storm move in.

The next storm, scheduled for Thursday night to Saturday, is expected to bring rain and not snow and ice.

However, where a heavy amount of snow remains on the landscape over the southern Appalachians and Piedmont, there is the potential for roof collapses under the added weight of the rain into the snow, which may act like a sponge.

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