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As temperatures plummet, snow, ice and a rapid freeze-up will pose hazards to travelers across the south-central United States into early Wednesday.
Enough wintry precipitation will fall to heighten the risk of vehicle spin outs and multi-vehicle accidents. Significant delays are possible along stretches of interstates 10, 20, 35 and 45.
Road closures have already been reported in portions of Louisiana due to the wintry conditions.
Effective immediately, I-49 North between LA 3194 (MLK Blvd.) in Shreveport and Mira Myrtis Road is CLOSED due to... https://t.co/eLjz4zn3Mx— LA State Police (@LAStatePolice) January 16, 2018
As cold air shoves its way southward, many areas that start as rain will transition to ice and snow, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.
A transition from rain to ice to snow occurred in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area on Monday night. During Tuesday, icy conditions developed in
San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi and Laredo, Texas.
The icy mix is expected to spread deep into South Texas on Tuesday night, creating slick spots in McAllen and Brownsville. Icy bridges and overpasses are likely farther east as well along the I-10 corridor to part of the Florida Panhandle.
“While any freezing rain is not expected to accrue enough for widespread power outages, just a coating of snow or ice is enough to make untreated roads slick,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Given the recent warmth, any precipitation will initially melt on roads and sidewalks. However, a rapid freeze-up can occur as temperatures plunge below freezing.
Untreated bridges and overpasses will be the first surface to turn icy.
Top hacks to deice your vehicle during winter's icy grip
Cold blast to be short-lived in central, eastern US this week
Snow to continue to blankets much of Virginia, Carolinas into Wednesday night
During Tuesday from 1 to 5 inches of snow fell from Kentucky to northeastern Texas.
This snow will gradually pencil out, but not fully fall apart as it reaches the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas of the Carolinas during Tuesday night. Spotty snow will also fall and coat the ground in parts o southern Mississippi, central Alabama and northern Georgia.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for all counties in the state in preparation for the wintry weather.
“Residents should prepare for disruptions to daily routines, including school delays or cancellations,” Pydynowski said. “The wintry weather and deicing operations may significantly delay airline passengers.”
Snowflakes may mix with rain in New Orleans; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Mobile, Alabama, during Tuesday night.
Any snow and ice will melt quickly as milder air is set invade the region late this week.
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