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14:01, 03 January 2018

Hurricane-Battered South Braces for Winter Storm and Bitter Cold


Hurricane-Battered South Braces for Winter Storm and Bitter Cold

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A effective winter storm is forecast to hit the eastern United States, prolonging a stretch of strikingly bitter cold that has enveloped much of the nation not too long ago and already buried some areas beneath a record quantity of snow.

Months following a busy hurricane season, the storm is anticipated to bring frigid wind, freezing rain and possibly even snow to the South. The National Climate Service warned of hazardous travel circumstances, such as restricted visibility and icy roads. Forecasters count on the storm to sooner or later hit the Northeast, all the way up to Maine.

• At about 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, it was 35 degrees in Jacksonville, Fla., and New Orleans 23 degrees in Jackson, Miss. 28 degrees in Atlanta and 14 degrees in the Raleigh-Durham location of North Carolina.

• Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia declared an emergency for 28 counties along or near the state’s southeastern coast. Mr. Deal’s declaration consists of Chatham County, house to about 289,000 people.

• A handful of college districts in North Florida that had currently resumed classes right after winter break, such as in Tallahassee and Gainesville, closed. It is the second time in recent months that many youngsters in the region will lose college days due to the fact of the climate: Hurricane Irma forced shutdowns in September.

• Airlines have canceled several flights to and from destinations along the East Coast and warned that their schedules could face continued disruptions. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest and United had been among the significant carriers that stated passengers could modify specific travel plans without penalties.

• Freezing rain and ice shut down substantial stretches of highway in northern Florida. The authorities in Leon County, which contains Tallahassee, said Wednesday that more than 50 miles of road on Interstate 10 had been closed in both directions, as had been components of Highway 90.

Contact it a winter cyclone.

Ice flowed along the Hudson River near the George Washington Bridge in New York City on Tuesday.CreditJulio Cortez/Related Press

Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations for the National Climate Service, named the storm a “mid-latitude cyclone” — as opposed to a hurricane, which is a tropical cyclone.

“If it comes close sufficient to the coast, you can get a walloping snowfall,” Mr. Carbin mentioned Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday was currently cold, with higher temperatures ranging from degrees in the Northeast to the low 40s in components of North Florida. It was in the 20s and 30s in parts of Texas, where a lot of the state was below a freeze warning.

The storm is anticipated to track along the coast throughout Wednesday, and winter storm warnings had been in impact from Florida to Massachusetts. Officials had been particularly worried about the wind chills of the coming days and warned that Philadelphia could feel like -10 and Washington would seem like -3. Wind chills have been anticipated to hover about zero in the Carolinas.

The Washington Dulles International Airport, in Northern Virginia, reported Wednesday that it had currently posted a record low temperature: 1 degree, shattering records from two days in the 1970s, when the low temperature was eight degrees.

A shot of Arctic air will reinforce that cold and feed the storm, according to Mr. Carbin, who noted that a stretch from Louisiana to Georgia had already noticed snow a handful of weeks ago.

“We are,” he said, “in the depths of winter.”

Snow is falling in some unlikely places.

By the time workdays would normally be beginning, light snow had already fallen in northern Florida and southern Georgia — locations that are not very accustomed to winter climate.

“Snow flakes have been spotted!” the Tallahassee airport posted on its Twitter account early Wednesday, around the time snow was starting to dust the campus of Florida State University, whose main campus was closed because of the weather. (The disruption at F.S.U. was minimal: classes had been not scheduled to resume until subsequent week.)

But the storm was anticipated to move speedily. Forecasters in Tallahassee stated the snowfall was expected to end within an hour or so of starting.

Some Southern forecasters who had been expecting snow and ice raised their predictions ahead of daybreak on Wednesday. The National Climate Service, which had called for 3 inches of snow in Charleston stated Wednesday that it anticipated 3 to 4 inches. Warming shelters have been opened in the region, for the homeless and other vulnerable folks.

Elsewhere, the forecast for Walterboro, S.C., shifted from an inch of snow to 3 or four inches.

And some of coastal South Carolina’s most populated regions had surprisingly robust odds of at least 4 inches of snow: The climate service said Charleston, which last year became the state’s most populous city, had a 1-in-4 chance.

Southern governors are encouraging residents to keep aware.

Mr. Deal was amongst the Georgia politicians who received criticism soon after a winter storm paralyzed Atlanta in 2014. In a statement on Tuesday evening, he noted that the state Department of Transportation had sent all of its brine trucks, as nicely as 75 plows, to southeast Georgia.

“I encourage all Georgians in the potentially impacted areas to keep informed, get ready and be secure,” he mentioned.

In North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper warned that the forecast for his state — up to five inches of snow in eastern counties — could change speedily.

“A small change in a storm’s track can make a big distinction in how much snow falls and where,” Mr. Cooper mentioned.

The state’s emergency management director, Mike Sprayberry, stated counties had been preparing to open warming centers if they were necessary, and state officials stated workers had been currently dumping brine onto roadways, overpasses and bridges from Raleigh eastward.

The circumstances also led to the shutdown, or planned closure, of ports in Savannah, Ga., and Charleston. Officials at other key ports mentioned Wednesday morning that they were monitoring conditions and could close them later in the week.

Reporting was contributed by Patricia Mazzei and Jonah Engel Bromwich from New York, and Alan Blinder from Atlanta.

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Published at Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:00:31 +0000


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