Early Season Cold, Snow Wreak Havoc on Appalachians, Southeast

An early season shot of cold air shocked the Southeast and central Appalachians Friday and Saturday, sending snow as far south as Columbia, South Carolina.

The arrival of the snow in Columbia sets the earliest snowfall record for the area. Reports to the southwest of the city ranged from 0.50-2.00 inches on grassy surfaces.

Although many roadways just became wet, the heavy snow was able to accumulate on objects such as trees and power lines which created many issues.

Fallen trees and power lines resulted in numerous power outages. As of Saturday morning, around 10,000 people in the Greenville, South Carolina, area are without power, according to Duke Energy.

Roadways traversing the mountains across North Carolina and Tennessee did become slushy and snow-covered, creating slick and hazardous travel conditions for many.

However, it is not just the snow that is causing issues. Winds continue to gust between 20 and 30 mph across the region and have even approached 40 mph in a few locations including Asheville, North Carolina. The combination of wet snow and strong winds proves to be disastrous on trees and power lines.

Across the higher elevations in the area, snowfall observations have already topped a foot in some areas including Mount LeConte in Tennessee. Park Service employees reported 16 inches of snow as of Saturday morning.

Snowfall Reports as of Saturday Morning

Snowfall Amount (inches)
Mount Leconte, TN
Newfound Gap, TN
Asheville, NC
Harlan, KY
Waynesville, NC
Greenville, SC
Gilbert, SC
Greenwood, SC

Snow was observed along the spine of the Appalachians all the way into southwestern Pennsylvania. According to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "the last major early season storm to bring heavy snow was from Sandy in 2012".

The early season chill factored in with the winds have dropped RealFeel® Temperatures plummeting to the teens across Tennessee and the western portion of the Carolinas.

This same storm system brought the first snowflakes of the season to areas around Chicago and Detroit to Indianapolis and Cincinnati on Halloween evening.

More accumulating snow is in store for the mountains from southwestern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia through Saturday night. Folks will want to be ready for possible power outages and travel delays.

The coldest air since April will charge into the Northeast later this weekend, lowering RealFeel® Temperatures into the 20s and teens.

As the storm system charges to the north and meets up with the cold air, a swath of heavy snow will blanket portions of New Hampshire, Maine and New Brunswick.

Runners partaking in the New York Marathon on Sunday will have strong, gusty winds in their face for part of the route and low RealFeel® Temperatures.