A storm responsible for ice in portions of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday will swing farther east in the South later this week with the potential for wet snow.
Ice Storm Hits South Central States
Cold air trapped near the ground Tuesday morning allowed a zone of freezing rain to develop in part of the South Central states.
Ice snarled traffic across portions of Texas and Louisiana early on Tuesday. The treacherous conditions and resultant accidents led to closures along portions of I-10, I-110, US 190 and other local roads across Louisiana.
WAFB 9 Louisiana's live footage showed scenes reminiscent of Atlanta's late-January ice storm, which stranded motorists for as many as 24 hours.
Texas road crews were out in full force to sand the icy roads.
Crews sanding US 290 at SH 99. Give the workers room to work by slowing down and increasing following distance.— TxDOT US 290 Houston (@my290Houston) March 4, 2014
Meanwhile, Flightstats reports that the messy wintry weather forced the cancellation of more than 700 flights and delays of approximately 1,200 flights across the U.S., with the highest numbers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
Ice knocked out power to more than 21,700 customers of Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Texas, LLC, AEP Texas and Oncor.
As the system progresses to the east Tuesday afternoon, temperatures are forecast to rise just enough to prevent freezing rain over much of southeastern Louisiana, northern Florida, southern Alabama and southern Georgia.
However, folks partaking in Mardi Gras celebrations are in for a cold rain into the evening hours. Some freezing rain will occur for a time over parts of central Alabama, prior to temperatures rising.
Wet Snow May Fall on Part of Southeast, Mid-Atlantic
As the storm moves toward the Atlantic coast, it is forecast by AccuWeather.com meteorologists to strengthen.
According to Senior Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "The storm could strengthen just enough to tap into just enough cold air in parts of northern Georgia, the Carolinas to portions of southern Virginia to bring some wet snow later Thursday into Friday."
Cities that have a chance at receiving some wet snow or a wintry mix of snow, ice and rain include Atlanta and Athens, Ga.; Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, N.C.; Greenville, Spartanburg and Rock Hill, S.C.; and Charlottesville, Roanoke and Richmond, Va.
Enough snow or a wintry mix could fall in this swath to cover grassy surfaces and perhaps bring slippery travel.
There is a chance the storm may track far enough to the north to bring a mixture of rain and wet snow to Washington, D.C, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J., later Thursday night into Friday morning.