5pm EST: Update on Major Ice and Snow Storm in Southeast and Middle Atlantic

Two low pressure systems will move across the South and one will move across the Middle Atlantic region causing a major winter storm requiring preparations before its arrival. 

Ice Storm:

The map below shows the probability of 0.1 inches of freezing rain which will cause serious traffic problems.

The map below is the probability of a quarter-inch or more. These numbers are quite high. The implication is that there will be widespread power failures.

To the west, parts of Mississippi and northeast Louisiana (i.e., Monroe, LA to Columbus, MS) will begin freezing rain tonight and tomorrow with a risk of early scattered power failures.

Note that Atlanta, Columbia, Charlotte, Raleigh, and toward Richmond are in the threat area! The period of greatest concern is Wednesday into Thursday night.
In the high threat area, the power may be off for days or a week or more. Yes, you read that right. To keep this blog post of a manageable length, go here for preparation advice. Don't worry about a loaf of bread. This could be a more serious matter. If you need to fetch a relative or friend living alone or with a medical condition, sooner is better even though the "main event" will not begin until Wednesday.


In some ways, I am more confident about the ice storm than the amount of snow in the Piedmont Region.
click to enlarge
There are reliable models that intensify the storm much closer to the coast, double the snowfall amounts shown here, and increase the wind speeds enough to cause drifting and, thus, making travel nearly impossible. For now, this seems a reasonable initial first snowfall forecast.

You don't want to fly into this mess. Here are suggestions for how to deal with the storm if you have a plane ticket for this region between now and Friday.

Please check your local AccuWeather.com forecast for the storm timing, etc., for your specific location. I hope I am wrong about all of this but it is increasingly likely this will be a storm people will be telling their grandchildren about.


  1. Mike, thank you for always having timely, accurate and useful information on your blog. Your blog has helped me make decisions regarding the operation of the outdoor museum I run in Southeast Kansas during severe storm season in the spring. Your winter coverage has been valuable in making travel decisions as well. Your airline information for weather related cancelations has been invaluable. Thanks for all you do to help keep the public weather aware and safe. Best wishes, Michelle Martin (Little House on the Prairie Museum, Kansas)


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