A powerful winter storm with more than 100 million Americans in its path is expected to hit large swathes of the South and Mid-Atlantic on Sunday and Monday.
Mountainous Appalachia will likely see the worst of the storm, with snow totals of up to 18 inches, but the impact could be widespread and severe as far south as Atlanta, where snow is sparse and roads are notoriously rough. difficult to clear.
Snow is also expected in parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia due to the powerful weather system out of Canada known as the name “Saskatchewan Screamer”.
“A strong storm developing over the lower Mississippi Valley will track east to southeast by Sunday morning, then track northeast to the northern mid-Atlantic by Monday “, said the National Weather Service in a flash bulletin.
“The combination of snow and ice can lead to dangerous driving conditions on the roads,” the agency warned.
A powerful winter storm with more than 100 million Americans in its path is expected to hit large swaths of the South and Mid Atlantic Sunday through Monday
A knife-edge tractor-trailer is stranded Saturday on the shoulder of Interstate 80 near Mitchellville, Iowa, after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow in central Iowa. The storm is expected to hit the southern and central Atlantic
Des Moines residents shovel snow from their driveways after the winter storm hit Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday
“The storm will move quickly northeast, with the heaviest snowfall lasting only about six hours and most snowfall extending for about 12 hours,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Bill Deger.
However, he noted that the intense rate of snowfall will compensate for its short duration.
In Virginia, where a blizzard left thousands of motorists trapped on congested highways earlier this month, outgoing Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and urged people to take the oncoming storm seriously. was approaching.
In North Carolina, some store shelves have been stripped of essentials, including bread and milk.
The fast-moving storm had already dropped heavy snowfall across a wide swath of the Midwest on Friday, where travel conditions deteriorated and dozens of schools closed or moved to online instruction.
Iowa was the hardest hit. Brad Small, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the Des Moines airport saw more than 14 inches of snow and a large swath of central and southern Iowa recorded between 9 inches and one foot of snow.
In perhaps a glimpse of the kind of trouble east, the Iowa State Patrol reported that 207 motorists were assisted and 78 crashes occurred in the four hours between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday , according to the Des Moines Register.
An Iowa State Patrol vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer on Friday while attending to another accident. The lieutenant involved suffered only minor injuries and was being evaluated at a local hospital, the agency said.
The storm system will follow a jet stream south and then rise to reach the mid-Atlantic, forecasters say
A map shows the expected arrival times of snowfall in various states on Sunday and Monday
Some regions will see mostly snow (blue) while others will see a winter mix of snow, ice and rain (magenta)
And in Chicago, where a mayor once lost his re-election bid due, in part, to the city’s inability to respond adequately to a massive blizzard while in office, the Department of Streets and Sanitation outfitted more than 200 trucks Saturday morning with plow blades to keep streets passable during and after the forecast storm.
Forecasters say parts of Tennessee could receive up to 6 inches of snow, and northern Mississippi and the Tennessee Valley region of Alabama could receive light snow accumulations. With lows forecast in the 20s over a wide area, any precipitation could freeze, making driving difficult, if not dangerous.
Travis Wagler said he hasn’t seen such a shortage of supplies at his hardware store in Abbeville, South Carolina, in at least two winters.
“We sell everything you can expect: sleds, but also salt, shovels and firewood,” Abbeville Hardware’s Wagler said on Friday. This region faced predictions of a quarter inch of ice or more on trees and power lines, which could lead to days without power.
A winter storm watch stretched from metro Atlanta north to Arkansas in the west and Pennsylvania in the north, covering parts of 10 states including Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.
Travel issues could extend to metro Atlanta, where about 2 inches of snow brought traffic to a standstill in 2014, an event still known as “Snowmaggedon.”
A mixture of ice and up to an inch of snow is expected in Atlanta, according to an advisory issued Saturday by the National Weather Service.
A semi-trailer truck is seen involved in an accident in Iowa on Friday, where conditions could portend major disruptions in the south
Des Moines’ Joe Davenport throws his disc during a snowy game of disc golf at Grandview Park in Des Moines on Saturday. More than a foot of snow was dumped on parts of central Iowa during an overnight snowstorm
A Des Moines resident shovels downtown sidewalks after winter storm Izzy in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday
At Dawsonville Hardware, about 95 miles north of Atlanta, owner Dwight Gilleland said he was already out of heaters as of noon Friday and had only five bags of salt and sand left.
“I think the pandemic has made people more anxious than normal,” he said.
Nearly 1,000 flights in the United States were already canceled on Sunday in anticipation of snow and ice in the South, according to flight tracking site flightaware.com, which tracks flight cancellations around the world. A major US airport hub for American Airlines – Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina – tops the list of cancellations for Sunday at US airports.
Potential power outages and travel issues could be exacerbated by any ice cover — and winds blowing at 35 mph (55 km/h), the National Weather Service said.
“Hopefully the Storm will be underdelivered, but it could be overdelivering. We just don’t know,’ Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said as he announced preparations for the storm. He was taking no chances in declaring a state of emergency, and crews began treating major roads and highways in North Georgia.
Des Moines residents remove snow after a winter storm in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday
After a major storm, a Des Moines resident clears snow in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday
Governor Henry McMaster in neighboring South Carolina also issued an emergency order, saying the state would likely begin to feel the effects of the major winter storm on Sunday morning.
“There is the potential for very hazardous conditions caused by ice and snow accumulations, which will likely lead to power outages across the state,” he said.
The city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina had to borrow workers from other departments to help deal with roads ahead of the storm because COVID-19 caused a shortage of workers, spokesman Randy Britton said. . Even volunteers helped out as the city ramped up its normal winter weather preparation schedule, he said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an emergency order and the administration urged people to stay home once the storm hits. The national highways agency has warned that labor shortages mean crews may not respond to problems as quickly as usual.
The storm, after its expected weekend dip in the southeast, was then expected to track northeast while dropping snow, sleet and rain around the densely populated east coast.
Many schools and businesses will be closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which could help ease travel issues as well as temperatures expected to hit the 40s.