The combination of 2 winter storms are expected to impact parts of the southern U.S. again this week which could cripple the region for the second time in a month. We all saw what happened in Atlanta last time with a little bit of freezing rain and about 2" of snow. Well this one will likely be worse… in some cases, MUCH worse. This will be a 2 part system with the first of the precipitation Monday night and early Tuesday followed by a much larger and stronger area of precipitation from Early Wednesday through Thursday afternoon. When all is over, some areas could get up to 2" of freezing rain and a foot of snow! This would be enough to even cripple transportation in the north for a day or so, but this could wipe out trees and power lines cutting power to millions, and make roads impassable for days. Here is what I am talking about. The following image is the current liquid precipitation estimates from Monday evening through Thursday evening across the U.S.
You can see a tremendous amount of water is likely to fall in the southeast. But this is just liquid totals and does not show what type of precipitation will fall in these areas. As the cold air pushes south, it will bulldoze underneath some warmer air and create the scenario for widespread freezing rain. This will add a coating of ice to everything. Here is what one forecasting model is calling for freezing rain amounts through Thursday afternoon courtesy of wright-weather.com
Parts of Georgia and South Carolina could get 2" of freezing rain!! And Atlanta… well current numbers show upwards of a half inch of ice. Remember that it takes just a quarter inch of freezing rain to bring down trees and power lines. In many cases, a half inch or more has devastating consequences.
There will certainly be snow on the northern edge of this band from northern Mississippi through the mountains of Georgia and the Carolinas, and then right up the east coast. Some of the mountainous locations could get up to a foot of the fluffy stuffy, but the freezing rain will likely have a much bigger impact as it will likely affect far more people.
Considering this storm will be hitting the largest airport in the world (Atlanta) and a major hub (Charlotte), this will be another tough air travel week nationwide as thousands of flights are likely to be cancelled.