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Dangerous Ice, Snow Slam South, Carolinas

UPDATED 7:15 PM EST, January 10, 2011

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman

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A major winter storm, after bringing snow and ice to the Deep South, is making its way out into the Carolinas this evening. Just like it had across the South, a treacherous mix of snow, sleet and ice will accompany the storm. Major travel problems have been reported, with even more likely as the snow spreads up the coast.

Moderate to heavy snow is currently falling across the interior mountains and Piedmont of North Carolina and southern Virginia, with a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain closer to the Atlantic Coast. The heaviest snow will be found over the upstates of the Carolinas into western Virginia, where several more inches could fall.

The southern periphery of the snowfall, including those areas along and south of Interstate 20 running from northern Georgia into eastern South Carolina, is seeing a mix of sleet and freezing rain. A bit of freezing rain will push out of northern Georgia this evening. Ice accumulations of one-quarter to one-half inch have been reported, making roads slick. Power outages and downed tree limbs have been reported in Georgia, but electricity has been restored to many customers throughout the day.

The freezing rain threat will move northeast into much of the eastern Carolinas as the storm pushes offshore. Major travel issues are following the wintry weather, with major road and airport delays reported, including in and around Atlanta.

Winter Storm Warnings stretch from central Tennessee into North Carolina and South Carolina, including Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C. Freezing Rain Advisories are in effect across central and northern Georgia, including the greater Atlanta area until very early Tuesday morning. Winter Weather Advisories are in place from northern Mississippi to the Virginia coast.

This Deep South winter storm is the result of a low pressure system developing along the Gulf Coast. It is drawing Gulf moisture northward and cold air southward, which are combining to produce the wintry mess across the Southeast.

The storm has already piled up plenty of snow and ice. More than 9 inches has accumulated in Huntsville, Ala., Chattanooga, Tenn., is reporting 7 inches and the Atlanta area is reporting 3 to 5 inches of snow and sleet. Higher elevation locations in the mountains of northern Georgia are reporting higher amounts.

The storm responsible for the snowy weather will slide northeast along the Eastern Seaboard tonight. While this will bring the snow to an end across the South and Southeast, it will bring snowfall along the Interstate 95 corridor in the Mid-Atlantic before moving into the Northeast.

Combining with a system from the Midwest, this storm will produce snowfall totals ranging from just a couple inches in the Washington, D.C., area, to 4 to 6 inches near Baltimore and Philadelphia, and as much as 6 to 12 inches in New York City and perhaps even higher amounts in New England. In advance of this snow, a Winter Storm Watches and Winter Storm Warnings have been issued.

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