Major winter storm crippling ill-prepared South; Commutageddon in Atlanta

Along the Gulf Coast and into the Southeast – places unaccustomed to winter weather – ice and snow are wreaking havoc. The storm is now heading into the Carolinas and the Virginia Tidewater region, where it’s likely to deposit significant accumulations of snow and ice.

The storm is massive in west to east extent – spanning from near Austin, Texas to near Virginia Beach.

National radar at 2 p.m. (Intellicast.com)
National radar at 2 p.m. (Intellicast.com)

Winter storm warnings currently affect over 20 million people.


Winter weather advisories and warnings as of noon (National Weather Service)

Along the Gulf Coast, schools and flights have been cancelled. Traffic – in many areas – has come to a standstill.

 

 

Louisiana is under a state of emergency with ice in the south and snow in the middle part of the state.

 

 

In central Alabama, a civil emergency message has been broadcast, due to snarled traffic. Famed broadcast meteorologist James Spann abandoned his car stuck in Birmingham’s traffic, and is on foot in order to get to work.

Freezing rain and sleet have reached as far south as Mobile, Alabama, right at the Gulf Coast.

In Atlanta, Georgia snow arrived faster and harder than expected and has led to gridlock…or a 2014 version of Commutageddon.

 

 

 

Overnight, the storm’s worst impacts will shift towards the Carolinas, southeast Virginia, and southern Delmarva. Serious icing is possible for coastal areas of South Carolina where accumulations of over 0.25″ could lead to power outages.


Ice forecast for Myrtle Beach area (National Weather Service)

Ice forecast for Charleston and Savannah area (National Weather Service)

To the north and west of the ice threat, heavy snow of up to 4-8″ are possible, with isolated double digit accumulations possible – including around Virginia Beach.


National Weather Service snowfall projections through Wednesday morning (Click to enlarge)

The D.C. and Baltimore areas area on the northwest fringe of the snow shield, but an inch or so accumulation is possible, especially in their southeast suburbs. Around Richmond, 2-4 inches of snow are possible.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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