Snow, ice to threaten treacherous travel from Florida to Virginia at midweek

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 03, 2018, 3:23:52 PM EST

A rapidly developing storm will spread a swath of snow, ice and dangerous travel along the southeastern coast of the United States during Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Precipitation from the storm will tend to hug the coast. However, there will be plenty of cold air in this zone.

Ice to glaze surfaces, trees and power lines in southeastern corner

Areas from Lake City, Florida, and near Jacksonville, Florida, to Savannah, Georgia, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, can expect an icy mix.

Static Snow, Ice SE

Everything from snow to sleet, freezing rain and plain rain may fall in this coastal zone. Enough frozen precipitation is forecast in this swath to make roads slippery. Ice may accrue on some trees, power lines and other elevated surfaces.

Where roads are open, motorists should be especially careful when traveling over bridges along Interstate 10 and I-95, as well as the U.S. Route 17, 23 and 82 corridors. Roads may be a sheet of ice for a time.

On Tuesday evening, the governor of Georgia issued a state of emergency for 28 counties due to the impending winter storm.

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Multiple bridges have been closed in Chatham County, Georgia, due to the dangerous conditions, according to Georgia emergency management. Multiple vehicle accidents have occurred on the Truman Parkway.

"The icy mix is likely to as all snow along the Carolina and Georgia coasts," acording to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.

Enough snow to shovel and plow is forecast

From near Homerville, Georgia, to Florence, South Carolina; Fayetteville and Greenville, North Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia, mostly snow has occurred or is forecast to fall.

Near this zone, a narrow swath of 1-8 inches of snow are in store. Enough snow will fall to cover roads and the landscape.

Static SE Snowfall Map 3 pm

Snowfall will ramp up over northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia during Wednesday night.

The snow area will have a sharp northwestern edge, where little to no snow is likely. This sharp cutoff of snow may be just to the west of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia.

No snow accumulating snow is forecast at the major hubs of Atlanta, New Orleans, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida.

Arctic air to rush back into region

However, there may be a few snow showers into Wednesday evening from the upper Gulf coast to the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas as a fresh injection of arctic air arrives.

As the storm moves northward along the Atlantic coast, bombogenesis will occur and a major blizzard will hit parts of New England and New Brunswick, Canada, late in the week.

Static US Late Week

Winds will increase around the strengthening storm as a new surge of arctic air presses southward over the eastern half of the nation.

This arctic surge will bring freezing air to central Florida and blustery and cold conditions as far south as South Florida, the Keys and Bahamas into this weekend.

The new cold wave from Thursday to Saturday may eclipse the frigid levels of early this week across much of the Southeast. Temperatures will plunge into the teens and 20s F at night. At this level, the risk of pipes freezing and water mains rupturing will continue.

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