Deep South Snow Expected Friday from Parts of Louisiana to North Carolina

Brian Donegan
Published: December 7, 2017

Parts of the South will see a quick round of accumulating snow as cold air surges into the region and disturbances ripple through a southward dip in the jet stream. Black ice will also be a possibility across the south as rain or melted snow freezes on untreated roads on Saturday and Sunday mornings. 

(MORE: Winter Storm Central)

While this won't be a major winter storm, moisture riding north of a weak area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico through Friday should result in some wet snow or sleet across portions of the South. Some spots have already seen occasional sleet pellets as just enough cold air has entered the atmosphere. 

The jet-stream disturbance responsible for this is currently wringing out snow over Texas and northern Mexico.

Winter Weather Alerts 

Rare winter storm warnings have been issued for parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, before more winter prone locations like New York, Chicago and Boston. Snowy conditions are expected to make travel on roadways dangerous, especially on bridges and overpasses. Use caution when driving to your destination or stay off the roads if you can. 

The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the higher terrain of the Carolinas. 

Up to three inches of snow is possible in the warning area with lesser amounts, potentially mixed in with rainfall and sleet, in the advisory areas. 

Winter Alerts

Forecast Timing and Location

A strip of wet snow and sleet is expected to develop by early Friday morning from eastern Louisiana to north Georgia, possibly including parts of the Atlanta metro area. "Should Atlanta receive 1 inch, it would be the 2nd earliest Dec. snowfall greater than/equal to 1 inch on record", according to meteorologist Keith Stellman at NWS Atlanta.

Some wet snow may also mix in Friday as far north as parts of North Carolina or extreme southern Virginia.

(MORE: How Much Snow Can You Expect in La Niña Winters?)

Friday's Forecast

With temperatures above freezing and warm ground temperatures, any daytime accumulations should be confined mainly to grassy areas and vehicle tops, rather than roads.

A few areas in this general strip may squeeze out more than one inch of total snow accumulation, but most other accumulations will likely be less than one inch. Snowfall will stick on the ground and accumulate with less melting in any communities that receive higher snowfall rates. 

(FORECAST: Baton Rouge | Birmingham | Greensboro)

Snowfall Forecast Through Friday Night

By Friday night, some patchy areas of light, wet snow are possible from North Carolina and southeast Virginia to the southern Delmarva Peninsula. 

(MORE: What's the Worst Winter Hazard? Depends Where You Live)

The rest of the Southeast should see mainly a cold rain.

Friday Night's Forecast

Despite the lack of snow accumulation expected on roads, there is one travel concern that may arise by Friday night.

With temperatures dropping below freezing, any lingering wet stretches on roads may freeze, particularly on bridges and overpasses.

These stretches of black ice may persist for a time into Saturday morning, before temperatures warm above freezing.

(MORE: What is Black Ice and Why Is It So Dangerous?)

A few snowflakes are possible into early Saturday as far south as coastal Alabama and Mississippi, southeastern Alabama, and perhaps, the extreme western Florida panhandle, but the ground will be well above freezing, and no accumulations expected if flakes do fly. 

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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