Fox News Weather Center

Snow, wintry mix to snarl travel in southern US this weekend

Plunging cold air will force a storm with snow to take a southern route that includes portions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina this weekend.

A storm scheduled to bring snow to part of the northeastern United States by Friday will be potent enough to force the next storm farther south.

Cities such as Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis and Cincinnati can receive enough snow for slippery travel early in the weekend.

The storm has the potential to bring a couple of inches of snow from portions of the middle Mississippi Valley to the southern part of the mid-Atlantic coast as the weekend progresses.

Static Weekend snow potential

In parts of the southern Appalachians, there is the potential for several inches of snow.

In addition to the track and strength of the storm, a key to the amount of accumulation will be where the snow falls during the night and early in the morning versus the middle of the day.

For this reason, areas from eastern Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky to western North Carolina, southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia stand the best chance of several inches of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning.

"Despite the recent warm weather, snow may stick to the roads in parts of the South as a large portion of the snow will fall during the night, when road surface temperatures are at their lowest," Thompson said.

The best time to travel on southern highways such as Interstate 40, I-77 and I-81 will be during the day Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

In much of this area, the storm will begin as rain or a wintry mix that transitions to snow.

Much of the snow that falls on the roads will melt soon after the storm moves away.

A slight southward shift in the storm track could bring snowflakes to Nashville, Tennessee, as well as northern parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

While snow has occurred in the South during March, it is not common away from the Appalachians.

"The last time Raleigh, North Carolina, received 0.1 of an inch of snow or more in March was during 2010, when close to an inch of snow fell during the first few days of the month," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson.

Raleigh is among several Southern cities that could pick up a coating of snow or greater from the storm this weekend.

Farther south, the storm will bring showers with the potential for gusty thunderstorms along the I-10 corridor from Saturday to Sunday.

During Sunday night, temperatures will plummet, especially where the sky becomes clear,

"There will be the potential for a freeze over the interior South from Sunday night to Monday morning," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

Protective measures may be needed for nursery stock and fruit trees. Areas made wet by melting snow Sunday afternoon may become icy at night.

"Another storm bears watching for parts of the Midwest, South and Northeast early next week," Abrams said.

"If the storm develops to its full potential, it could produce heavy snow with increasing wind, followed by a substantial blast of cold air in its wake."

Details on the track and strength of the storm for early next week will become more clear over the next few days.