Share

Winter Storm Pax Forecast: Crippling Ice Storm, Heavy Snow in South

By: By Chris Dolce
Published: February 12, 2014

Winter Storm Pax is now delivering a major ice storm, not to mention a swath of significant snow across a wide swath of the South.

(MINUTE-BY-MINUTE UPDATES: Winter Storm Pax live blog)

Background

Winter Weather Alerts

Winter Weather Alerts

Winter Weather Alerts

Winter Weather Alerts
Background

Current Southeast Radar

Current Southeast Radar

Current Southeast Radar

Current Southeast Radar

Ice accumulation will knock out power for hundreds of thousands of people and litter roads with fallen tree limbs and downed wires. Travel will become difficult, if not impossible, in the hardest-hit areas.

For millions of Southerners, especially in Georgia and the Carolinas, the time to prepare is over. Now is the time to hunker down for this winter storm.

(MORE: City-Specific Timing and Impacts | States Preparing for Pax)

Pax will also impact the Middle Atlantic and Northeast with snow and ice later in the week. For details on that part of the storm, click the link below to see our forecast article focused those regions.

(MORE: Northeast, Middle Atlantic Storm Impacts)

Below we have the latest information on the serious icing and snow we expect from Pax in the South.

Major Ice Storm, Snow in South

The first round of Winter Storms Pax brought snow and sleet from northern Mississippi to northern Alabama, northern Georgia, northern South Carolina and parts of North Carolina on Tuesday. Over one-quarter inch of ice accumulated in parts of the Shreveport, La. metro area. Up to 10 inches of snow was reported in parts of North Carolina.

(MORE: Pax Snow, Ice Reports)

Background

Wed. Night's Forecast

Wed. Night's Forecast

Wed. Night's Forecast

Wed. Night's Forecast
Background

Thursday's Forecast

Thursday's Forecast

Thursday's Forecast

Thursday's Forecast
Background

Power Outage Potential

Power Outage Potential

Power Outage Potential

Power Outage Potential

Freezing rain and a little light snow will wind down Wednesday in the Lower Mississippi Valley, from Arkansas into Mississippi and west Tennessee. Temperatures in these areas may only barely rise above freezing later Wednesday, so travel is still to be avoided. 

Meanwhile, the most concentrated area of freezing rain, sleet, and snow will continue sliding east through the southern Appalachians, Carolinas, north Georgia, Tennessee and northern Alabama.  

Locations that see the heaviest freezing rain accumulations will likely experience widespread power outages and tree damage. In addition to the weight of the ice on tree branches and power lines, gusty winds at times will also add to the widespread power outage threat. 

(Forecast winds: Today | Tonight)

The areas in greatest threat for crippling ice accumulations include parts of north and east-central Georgia through central/eastern South Carolina and into central/eastern North Carolina. This area of concern is in the darker shadings of red on our power outage forecast map above at the right. Ice accumulations of a half inch to one inch, possibly locally higher, are expected in this corridor. Portions of the Atlanta metro area (south and east sides), Augusta, Ga., Columbia, S.C. (near or south) and Raleigh, N.C. are some of the cities most at risk for major ice accumulations and power outages. 

(WATCH: Ice Storm Damage and Impacts)

Overnight Wednesday night, the area of freezing rain will gradually end from south to north, first in Georgia, then northward into the Carolinas by daybreak Thursday, as a punch of dry air aloft moves in. With that said, some patchy leftover freezing drizzle is possible into early Thursday morning from parts of Virginia into the central and eastern Carolinas.

Also Wednesday evening, any sleet or freezing rain will eventually change to accumulating snow across northeast Alabama and north Georgia, including Atlanta.

Background

48-Hour Snowfall Forecast

48-Hour Snowfall Forecast

48-Hour Snowfall Forecast

48-Hour Snowfall Forecast

On the snowy side of Winter Storm Pax, snow will spread northward Wednesday into the central Appalachians and Shenandoah Valley, continuing Wednesday night into Thursday morning, before slowly winding down Thursday.

Six inches or more of snow is likely to blanket locations from the north Georgia mountains into Virginia. This includes Asheville, N.C.Greensboro, N.C.Charlotte, N.C. and Roanoke, Va. Some locations in the Piedmont of the Carolinas and western Virginia will locally pick up over a foot of total snow. 

As mentioned before, Winter Storm Pax will go on to produce significant snow in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast. For details, click the link below.

(MORE: Northeast, Middle Atlantic Impacts)

Check back with us at weather.com and The Weather Channel for the latest updates on Winter Storm Pax.

MORE: Winter Storm Pax Photos

Terry Gillis scrapes ice off his car's window Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Fort Payne Ala. Officials are warning of ice and snow accumulations as the day continues. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)


Featured Blogs

I am a Failed Father

By Shaun Tanner
April 17, 2014

Being a father is very hard! I know, I sound like a whiner, but I felt especially bad this week when I caused my daughter to miss the lunar eclipse.

California Drought/Polar Vortex Jet Stream Pattern Linked to Global Warming

By Dr. Jeff Masters
April 16, 2014

From November 2013 - January 2014, a remarkably extreme jet stream pattern set up over North America, bringing the infamous "Polar Vortex" of cold air to the Midwest and Eastern U.S., and a "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" of high pressure over California, which brought the worst winter drought conditions ever recorded to that state. A new study by Utah State scientist S.-Y. Simon Wang found that this jet stream pattern was the most extreme on record, and likely could not have grown so extreme without the influence of human-caused global warming.

March 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
April 15, 2014

March featured a number of anomalous extreme weather events such as the floods in portions of Egypt and New Zealand, a freak hailstorm in Asmara, Eritrea, record warmth in much of Europe, severe cold and snow in the eastern half of the U.S. and heavy rainfall in the Pacific Northwest that culminated in a deadly landslide in Washington. Preliminary data from NASA indicates that globally (land-ocean temperature index), it was the 4th warmest March on record (since 1880).

Polar Vortex, Global Warming, and Cold Weather

By Stu Ostro
January 10, 2014

Some thoughts about the recent viral meme(s).

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.

Astronomical VS. Meteorological Winter

By Tom Niziol
March 1, 2013