Looking ahead: Dry days, frigid nights expected as cleanup begins across southern US

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 10, 2018, 4:09:43 AM EST


Dry, milder weather is expected for clean-up efforts across the southern United States following a dose of heavy snow, ice and flooding rainfall.

Several inches of rain inundated a swath of eastern Texas on Friday as heavy snow ramped up in West Texas later that night. Meanwhile, flooding rainfall moved into the Mississippi Valley as ice and snow began to coat northern Arkansas and Tennessee on Saturday morning.


The storm gathered even more strength on Sunday and dumped over 18 inches of snow on the mountains of western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia while gusty storms rattled parts of the Florida Peninsula.

In the wake of this disruptive, dangerous weather, cleanup crews will be glad for generally calm and increasingly mild conditions through midweek.

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In West Texas, frequent stretches of sunshine will help to melt snow off the roadways as temperatures reach into the 50s F during the afternoon on both Monday and Tuesday. Road treatments will be effective in these conditions as well, making for much smoother travel.

Farther east, this dry weather will help flooded areas throughout Austin, College Station and Houston to drain more efficiently.

Generally dry weather will filter into the Southeast by Monday, although it will be unseasonably cool. Overnight temperatures below freezing can lead to patches of black ice on roadways across the Deep South on Monday morning. Those still without power will need to find other ways to stay warm.

Travel will be nearly impossible in the immediate wake of this storm on Monday and Tuesday where the heaviest ice and snow have coated roadways and toppled trees and power lines in the southern Appalachians.

Overnight freezes will pose a more dangerous threat in these areas, where daytime snowmelt will lead to standing water on roads and sidewalks that will then freeze at night.

"Sunshine, combined with afternoon temperatures in the 40s, will lead to quite a bit of melting," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll said.

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While this tranquil weather will result in rapidly improving road conditions, "refreezing is likely as temperatures drop through the 20s at night," he warned.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, the overnight low of about 15 F on Monday night will quickly cause any standing water to refreeze into dangerous black ice on Tuesday morning. Bus drivers and morning commuters should drive with extra caution.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see the hourly temperature forecast for your area.

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