The forecast is still on track for a high-impact winter storm to impact the South and Southeast beginning Monday night and continuing into Tuesday. Rain will transition to snow initially across parts of far northeast Texas, east Arkansas, west Tennessee and north Louisiana by late Monday night. The transition line (from rain changing to snow) will move east and south by early Tuesday morning into central Tennessee and Mississippi (see Fig. 1) before moving east into parts of Alabama and Georgia later on Tuesday (see Fig. 2). Parts of upstate South Carolina and North Carolina should get in on the rain & snow later in the day on Tuesday.
It should be noted that this may map need to be tweaked over the next 24 hours. Locations further west on this map (east Texas and western Louisiana) may see lesser totals that what is indicated on this map. It depends on how quickly the rain transitions to snow and also how much moisture is available in this region. Most areas within the 2-4″ zone will see 2-3″ of snow with scattered 4″ amounts. Some of the higher terrain with this 2-4″ zone will see amounts closer to 6″.
It is likely that travel will become difficult across parts of the South and Southeast on Tuesday. This thought has allowed local National Weather Service offices to issue Winter Storm Watches and Winter Storm Advisories for a large part of the region (see Fig. 4). One issue that may make roads extremely dangerous is the potential for the initial rain to freeze on roads once surface temperatures drop. This glaze of ice would then be covered by snow; making road conditions extremely hazardous.
Please keep checking back for updates. An additional article will be published later this evening for locations further north.
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!