by Walter Brasch
AR Senior Correspondent
December 13, 2010
DAYS OF OUR REPAIR
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Dec. 13, 2010 -- A storm over the Northwest that started the week will spread a zone of snow and ice over the southeastern United States Wednesday into Thursday.
While the storm will not be a powerhouse like the weekend blizzard that sopped trafic and most other activity in the Midwest - even causing the Minneapolis Metrodome's roof to collapse and forcing the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings to move their game to Detroit on Monday, authorities say even the expected couple of inches of snow or a thin coating of ice can mean dangerous travel and canceled plans.
"The blizzard that pummeled the Upper Midwest this weekend has gone down in history as one of the biggest for December. The snow it brought to the lower Midwest broke 100-year-old records," the meteorological service AccuWeather said yesterday.
The area of snow and ice will first develop over the central and northern Plains Tuesday night.
As that storm moves eastward into colder air, snow and ice will develop at fairly southern latitudes in portions of Arkansas and Tennessee Wednesday and eventually North Carolina and southern Virginia on Thursday.
For some locations, the storm may be merely a few hours of freezing drizzle. However, often this is the most dangerous scenario as the ice may be invisible, hence the term "black ice."
This thin coating of ice could develop in Little Rock, Memphis and Greenville, S.C.
A wintry mix of snow and ice could coat roads from St. Louis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Charlotteto Winston-Salem and Raleigh.
Where snow and ice fails to mix in, up to a few inches of snow could fall over part of the Ohio Valley into the southern Appalachians, especially the southern part of the Virginias.
Even the southern part of the Delmarva Peninsula could catch some flakes before the system scoots out to sea Thursday night.
At this point, the storm is not expected to bring heavy enough accumulation to down trees and power lines, but ice will accrue on elevated surfaces in the heart of the freezing rain area.
While the balance of the mid-Atlantic will miss out on snow from this one, another storm may be in the works for portions of the South and perhaps a large part of the Atlantic Seaboard this coming weekend.
That storm, if it materializes, could bring the area east of I-95 its best shot at accumulating snow before Christmas.
If AccuWeather.com Long Range Expert Joe Bastardi is correct, the pattern through Christmas may represent the bulk of winter weather for the entire season in the South, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic.
Alex Sosnowski is an Expert Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, the source of this forecast.