Historic Ice Storm Immobilizes Ground, Air Travel in the South

Play videoAccuWeather- by Brian Lada

A snow and ice storm will continue to severely impact travelers and residents from northern Alabama to the Carolinas into Wednesday night.

The event could be the worst ice storm for parts of the South in more than 10 years.

One batch of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain affected the South Monday into Tuesday and caused hundreds of flight delays in the region.  

As of Wednesday morning, the number of flights have been canceled has swelled to more than 2,000 at Atlanta International Airport alone.

Another batch of snow and ice will hit many of the same areas Wednesday and into Wednesday night.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, “For many areas east of I-59 and near and north of I-20, this part of the storm will be much worse than the first.”

Much colder air pressed southward into these areas Tuesday night, setting the stage for major wintry problems on Wednesday.

The wintry precipitation on Wednesday afternoon will focus on an area stretching from northern Georgia to central and upstate South Carolina, and much of North Carolina and Virginia. Some snow and ice will also reach into portions Tennessee.

In many cases, roads may be too dangerous for travel due to freezing rain, sleet and snow. There is the potential to become stranded. If you drive, there is the risk of not only putting yourself at risk but also your would-be rescuers.

For folks that absolutely must travel, allow extra time in anticipation for delays as the snow and ice can rapidly accumulate on roadways, especially on bridges and overpasses.

While sleet is hazardous and difficult to remove, freezing rain brings the greatest risk for power outages and travel. This storm will bring both to many communities. However, the communities that receive between 0.50 and 1.00 inch of freezing rain could face severe and long-lasting problems.

Earlier in the week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced a State of Emergency for more than 80 counties in the state ahead of the winter storm. Also, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued a state of emergency for the entire state. A state of emergency was in effect for all of the Carolinas and Virginia on Wednesday.


According to Senior Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, “This has all the makings of a historic ice storm from northern Georgia to central and upstate South Carolina to central North Carolina through Wednesday.”

Much of this area lies just southeast of I-85. Along much of this major thoroughfare, heavy snow will fall as well.

The area from near Atlanta to Columbia, S.C., and Fayetteville and Raleigh, N.C., may be ground zero for the ice storm. Some communities may experience great devastation from freezing rain. Ice and snow along the Carolina coast will change to plain rain later Wednesday.

A heavy buildup of freezing rain on trees and power lines can lead to scores of fallen trees, widespread power outages and bring travel to a halt.

“A number of communities over the interior South may have more significant, much longer-lasting sleet, freezing rain and snow when compared to the storm from late January,” AccuWeather.com Southern Weather Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.

It may take many days for power to be completely restored across this area due to heavy icing over such a large area.

“While parts of the South are hit with an ice storm about once every three years, this storm could have a similar outcome to that of 2002 for some locations,” Kottlowski said.

Heavy snow will fall on the northern Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia mountains with some locations forecast to receive a foot of snow or more. A half of a foot to a foot of snow may fall in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte, N.C., and Roanoke, Va. The snow will precede heavy ice around Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C.

Although locations along the I-10 corridor will escape the ice, heavy rain associated with the storm can lead to localized flooding, especially in low-lying and poor-drainage areas.

Parts of the Florida Peninsula will be hit with severe thunderstorms into Wednesday night that can bring damaging wind gusts and hail.

This storm will continue to track up the East Coast heading into Thursday, delivering over a foot of snow to portions of the Northeast.

For folks looking for a break in the cold, wintry pattern, a change to much warmer weather is possible beginning around Feb. 17 or 18 and may continue through much of the balance of the month.

Prior to the warmup next week, a more modest storm will swing from the Central states on Friday to the East Coast by Saturday.



22 thoughts on “Historic Ice Storm Immobilizes Ground, Air Travel in the South

    1. Hey brother I known this makes us look like a bunch of punks down here when this happens, but most of the time it is the gov that screws this up. I needed to be in North Louisiana again today, but the fools close all the damn roads so I can’t drive.
      Dont get me wrong, there are some dumb asses down here that can’t drive when the sun shines, let alone when the ice hits then pavement.
      We always laugh when this crap happens down here, because it is like some alien substance from mars has fell from the sky.
      Good times. 🙂

      1. Hey Bulldog, I live in Dallas but I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, so I know how to deal with the snow. I just find it funny that the city can’t afford to throw some salt on the ground and that they get all scared with an inch of snow.

        You are right though. Most of the people don’t even know how to drive in the snow or think that it is some strange goo falling from the sky. It’s ridiculous.

        1. I hate losing money when I cant work, but it is funny to listen to the doom on the local channels down here. Just wait hurricane season is coming. OH NO, WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!

  1. Government probably behind this. Part of their depopulation plan. By any means necessary. If we can get a few homeless people that’s more notches to the belt.

  2. OMG! Water is falling from the sky! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!!

    This is truly pathetic.

    Man, the MSM is trying to make us a nation of weaklings and cowards afraid of our own shadow.

    Is there another word that’s more pitiful than pathetic because I have used this word so many times this past year that it’s worn out its meaning? 🙄

    1. dismal





      Take your pick, NC.

      All except despicable. That one’s mine. 🙂

      1. Thanks, #1.

        I particularly love to use the word, “Pathetic” because it sounds “Pathetic”. However, since I’ve used it so many times, I feel like it’s worn out its effect. 🙂

  3. well the south will not rise again..just freeze its ass off..we are entering a small ice age again my friends. Those idiots from the south cant drive even in normal weather..so I can see why when they see snow..and they don’t know..what to do about it

  4. You folks need to move to Oregon, nice blue sky’s, 70 degrees, birds singing, daffodils in full bloom and no chem trails.

    And I lie a lot too

  5. we’ve been looking at selling house here in Midwest, taking the money and buying something in fl. nice dream. our senior bodies don’t like this cold anymore

  6. As of 10:40 pm we have 8 inches on the ground here in Up-State S.C……and for the last 4 hours its been sleet and freezing rain.
    they brined the roads earlier yesterday afternoon…and threw sand today so even though the snow was accumulating quickly the roads were passable if you took caution. Many dont and their crunched cars give witness. Well now everything is “glassed over with and Inch of solid ice so there will be no driving until it warms up a bit……Maybe friday they say.
    The wife is stranded at work 25 miles away (health care) but safe and warm and even has a cot to bed down in for the next 24 to 48 hours.
    Our Governor has declared S.C. a emergency disaster area due to the ICE…not the snow. Before this comes to a stop sometime Thursday evening,…..several hundreds of thousands of people will be without power…….maybe upwards of a week or more.

    I have plenty food,…a wood stove with split wood stacked,…a kerosene heater and 10 gals……also a propane gas pack with a full tank. Its nice and cozy here and I dont need to go anywhere. If the power fails I have gas stored for my generator…..

    I pity the helpless sheeple in this Nation who cry chicken little every time and event occurs. Maybe its the fluoride and the chemtrails….but my goodness why wont people do a little preparedness like our Fathers and their Fathers before them did?

    Yup…….Millions will die within weeks of a “REAL” calamity when it hits this Nation.

  7. Meanwhile….in the high desert of So Cal…tomorrows forecast is sunny and 80 degree’s. Let’s see …what shall I do? Wash the car, take the dog for a long walk, then drink some cheap beer. I’m starting to like being retired after working since 1974.

  8. Joe….80? wow dude! Hey it was 73 here sunday…….flipity flop!.
    Well we did lose power around 2 am…….got the gen rolling so I have internet now…and COFFEE. :).
    The News is saying around 1 million from the Georgia border to Charlotte N.C. is without power this morning.
    And its snowing again….3 days in a row…. Thats gotta be a record for South Carolina…..in my nearly 60 years I cant remember it doing like this but maybe once way back in the early mid 1960’s. We get snow every year….just not like this…not very often
    Haaaa my goats and chickens are tripping out….they dont know what to do…shit or go blind!

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