Winter Storm Pax: Impact on Georgia, Nevada, North and South Carolina, Alabama
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State of Emergency for Parts of Georgia Ahead of Anticipated Winter Storm
A look at impact on state-by-state impact from Winter Storm Pax.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has expanded a state of emergency to include 31 additional counties as the region braces for another round of snow, ice and frigid temperatures.
Deal added counties stretching from northwest Georgia to the state’s border with South Carolina Monday afternoon. The state of emergency now covers 45 counties throughout Georgia and Deal says he expects to expand the declaration to additional counties as conditions warrant.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather watch until Tuesday evening for northern parts of Georgia and the same watch from Tuesday evening through Thursday for the metro Atlanta area.
Forecasters are expecting rain in north Georgia to change to a mix of snow and sleet Monday night. The storm is expected to leave the area Thursday morning.
Sierra ski resorts and drought-stricken farmers are rejoicing after a weekend storm dumped up to 5 feet of snow on top of the mountains and brought near-record rainfall to Lake Tahoe.
A winter storm warning expired Monday morning at Tahoe, where Incline Village schools were delayed two hours.
The National Weather Service says the level of Lake Tahoe had risen an estimated 4 inches by Sunday — a total of 13.7 billion gallons of water or enough to cover 65 square miles a foot deep.
Weather service meteorologist Dawn Johnson says elevations above 8,000 feet got 3 to 5 feet of snow, with 2 to 3 feet in areas between 7,000-8,000 feet.
The 4.4 inches of rain at Tahoe City, Calif., was the ninth biggest daily total on record.
A second round of ice and snow is heading for South Carolina this week, with forecasters warning this storm could be significantly more serious than the winter weather that shut down the state two weeks ago.
The National Weather Service said it is still too early to pinpoint exactly how much snow and ice will accumulate starting late Tuesday night into Thursday, but national forecasters are warning of the possibility of paralyzing and possibly historic amounts of ice from freezing rain in areas from Aiken to Columbia to Florence. Farther north along the Interstate 85 corridor, the weather service said 4 to 6 inches of snow could fall.
“Our certainty that something is going to happen is pretty high. It’s the details like the exact timing, the exact turnover from snow to freezing rain and the amounts that will fall that have uncertainty,” said Whitney Smith, a meteorologist with the weather service in Columbia.
The weather service’s best estimate is a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice on power lines and trees. If the upper end of the forecast falls, the effects could be devastating. South Carolina hasn’t seen a major ice storm in nearly a decade. In December 2005, similar amounts of ice fell across the Upstate and Duke Energy at the time estimated 60 percent of its South Carolina customers lost power. The last serious ice storm in the Midlands and Pee Dee was January 2004, with three-quarters of an inch of ice left 250,000 customers without electricity,
Officials are already starting to prepare. The South Carolina Senate decided to call off this week’s session. The House was already planning to take the week off. Gov. Nikki Haley planned a call with emergency officials Monday afternoon to determine what she needed to do next.
The Department of Transportation started to load salt and sand trucks for a second time in two weeks. On Jan. 28, much of South Carolina saw at least an inch of snow, while the coast saw freezing rain. Most amounts were less than a quarter-inch, but it was enough to close the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston for more than 40 hours.
The coast is expected to remain with just a cold rain through this storm.
A mixture of precipitation has begun falling on portions of North Carolina in advance of a winter storm expected to bring significant icy weather to the state over two days.
The National Weather Service reported light precipitation north of a line from Charlotte to Sanford to Rocky Mount. Snow was reported in Winston-Salem Monday afternoon.
No significant accumulation was expected with Monday’s weather.
Forecasters issued a winter storm watch for much of North Carolina from Tuesday through Thursday morning. Up to 8 inches of snow are possible in the mountains, with up to 6 inches of snow are expected along the Interstate 85 corridor. Up to 4 inches of snow could fall elsewhere in the western part of the state.
A spokesman says the Alabama Department of Transportation is keeping a close eye on forecasts as another round of winter weather heads to the state.
A wintry mix of precipitation is expected to hit the state between Monday night and Wednesday.
DOT spokesman Tony Harris says the department is watching the forecasts carefully to make road treatment decisions. Salt and brine mixtures on roads can combat ice if spread on roads shortly in advance of precipitation.
A winter storm that hit the state Jan. 28 left thousands of people stranded on icy roads in the Birmingham area. DOT had shifted winter weather resources south based on forecasts that showed the ice storm would hit below Clanton.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for almost all of northern Louisiana from midnight Monday until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The advisory covers all parishes except Morehouse, Richland, East Carroll and West Carroll parishes, which are under a winter storm warning starting at 6 p.m. Monday until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
A winter weather advisory means there is the potential for one- to two-tenths of an inch of sleet, freezing rain or a mix and between one-half to one inch of snow.
A winter storm warning means that one-quarter to one-half of an inch of sleet, freezing rain or a mix and between one-half to one inch of snow could fall.
The storm system has also spawned watches and warnings in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
The National Weather Service says another blast of snow is expected across Tennessee.
The weather service office in Morristown has issued a winter storm watch and says up to 6 inches of accumulation is expected in the mountains on East Tennessee. The snow is expected to start falling Tuesday night and taper off by Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service says areas of Middle Tennessee north of Interstate 40 could get a dusting of snow and West Tennessee could get up to an inch with slight accumulations of sleet and ice.
The weather statements warn drivers to take precautions as road conditions in areas with accumulation could become hazardous.