The forecast remains on track for a winter storm to impact the South and Southeast beginning late tonight and continuing into Tuesday. Rain will transition to snow initially across parts of far northeast Texas, east Arkansas, west Tennessee and north Louisiana as early as late tonight. The transition line (from rain to snow) will move east and south by early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning into central Tennessee and Mississippi before moving east into parts of Alabama and Georgia later in the day tomorrow. Parts of upstate South Carolina and North Carolina should get in on the rain & snow later in the day on Tuesday.
Let’s break down the timing of when the changeover to snow will occur:
11:00PM-2:00AM Central: central Tennessee, northwest Alabama, northern & central Mississippi, southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana and far east Texas
2:00AM-4:00AM Central: central and eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, central Alabama, northwestern Georgia and eastern Tennessee
4:00AM-6:00AM Central: southern Alabama, northern Georgia and western North Carolina
6:00AM-10:00AM Central: central Georgia and upstate South Carolina
Timing for a few major cities:
Jackson: Around 2:00AM Central
Atlanta: Around 8:00AM Central
Birmingham: Around 4:00AM Central
Snow total will vary quite a bit depending on location but overall much of the region will see flakes fall. The heaviest zone is 2-4″ with isolated amounts closer to 6″. It should be noted, within this zone, most areas will see totals closer to 2-3″. Where banding sets up and locations above 1,500′ will see amounts on the higher end of the zone category.
Let’s break down how much snow may fall in a few major cities:
Jackson: 2 – 4″
Birmingham: 2 – 3″
Travel will become difficult across parts of the South and Southeast tomorrow. This has allowed local National Weather Service offices to issue Winter Storm Warnings 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.
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!