Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Deep - Deep Southern Snowstorm

Gridlock in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday afternoon.
The cold air we have had for most of January managed to find its way to the Gulf Coast of the US yesterday with snow and ice accumulating in places like New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile and Atlanta. Temperatures more suited for Quebec spread across the deep south with readings from 0C (32F) to as cold as -10C (14F). It was actually warmer in Alaska than the Florida Panhandle. The snow and ice created treacherous driving in communities unable to deal with it. In Atlanta several inches of snow froze over highways and clogged all major roads. Some drivers remained trapped in their vehicles in sub freezing temperatures for up to 18 hours. This included students stuck on school buses in the mess. Over 900 accidents were reported in Atlanta alone. A state of emergency was declared in both Georgia and Alabama. Shelters were established to help warm stranded drivers. In Alabama and Mississippi it was much the same with trucks and cars skidding into ditches and blocking roads. The snow spread north overnight into North Carolina and Virginia with 8-10 inches reported as far north as Norfolk. In my home away from home the Outer Banks, snow covered the normal pristine dunes and beaches. The snow will end today with the cold and gusty north winds beginning to ease by the weekend.

"In the end 2-3.5 inches hit central Georgia. That may not sound like much, but it's usually how much snow falls in the region in a whole year," said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.

In Eastern Ontario yesterday snow squalls off Lake Ontario dumped a band of heavy snow from Prince Edward County as far northeast as Brockville. Even this morning travel is not good on that stretch of the 401 where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario. Some of that moisture will work its way into Montreal today with clouds and flurries. Winds will remain gusty up to 50km/h and it will be cold, but not frigid, up to -10C.

The 401 near Kingston on Tuesday afternoon. Terrible driving again! (TWN)

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