Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:14 PM GMT on January 10, 2011
A powerful winter storm has brought heavy snow and dangerous amounts of freezing rain to much of the South, in a swath stretching from northeastern Texas to southern North Carolina. The storm began Sunday in Texas, then tracked almost due east, bringing snow amounts of 8 - 11 inches to southern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee. As of 9am CST, the heaviest snow amounts as reported in the NOAA Storm Summary were 11 inches at Lawrenceburg, TN and 10 inches at Baldwyn, MS. The worst freezing rain was reported in central Georgia at Fort Valley, where 3/4" of ice had accumulated. Texarkana, Arkansas, had 1/2" of ice. Freezing rain amounts of 1/4 inch were also reported over much of northern Louisiana, central Alabama, and central Mississippi. A nasty mix of up to four inches of snow, sleet, and freezing rain hit the Atlanta, Georgia area, causing the cancellation of thousands of flights at the world's busiest airport. The storm will bring an additional 2 - 6 inches of snow to eastern Tennessee, central South Carolina, and central North Carolina today, with significant freezing rain possible in northern Georgia and portions of North and South Carolina. Below-freezing temperatures are expected to remain over the region through Wednesday morning, resulting in a long period of dangerous travel conditions.
Major Nor'easter expected for New York City and Boston
Today's snow storm is expected to push off the coast of North Carolina tonight, then "bomb" into a classic Nor'easter off the coast of New England on Tuesday and Wednesday. Up to a foot of snow is possible for New York City, Boston, and coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island beginning on Tuesday night. The Nor'easter will not be as intense as the December 26 blizzard, however. The winds from the new storm are expected to remain less than 35 mph, resulting in only minor coastal flooding and an absence of blizzard conditions (winds in excess of 35 mph and visibility less than 1/4 mile.)
South Bend nearly sets all-time Indiana snowfall record
An epic lake effect snow storm hit South Bend, Indiana Friday and Saturday, burying the city under a remarkable 36.6" of snow. It was the heaviest two-day snow storm in South Bend's history, breaking a record that had stood since 1909 (a 29" snow storm on January 30 - 31.) The 32.6" that fell in a 24-hour period between 4pm EST 1/7 and 4pm EST 1/8 came just 0.4" short of matching Indiana's heaviest 24-hour snow storm on record. Indiana's heaviest 24-hour snow event was the 33.0" that fell at Salem in December 2004, according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt.
Figure 1. Snow from Saturday's record lake effect snow storm in South Bend, Indiana piles up. Photo by slowhiker.
While the current snow event is over, new snows are expected in South Bend beginning Wednesday, when a renewed strong northwesterly flow of air off of Lake Michigan will develop in the wake of the strong winter storm currently pounding the Southern U.S. Another 8+ inches of snow may fall in the South Bend area in the new storm.
Figure 2. True color satellite image of the South Bend, Indiana lake effect snow storm of Saturday, January 8, 2010 at 1:45pm EST. A well-defined band of heavy snow developed over Lake Michigan and anchored itself over South Bend, giving the city its heaviest snow storm on record. Image credit: NASA.
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