STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Winter storm growing throughout the South

A winter storm is moving towards the East Coast, and is expected to bring extreme weather conditions including snow, sleet and possible flooding.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 6:53 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2018 7:10 PM

A significant winter storm is taking shape Friday over the Southern Plains and Texas and will spread this weekend through the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

How far south freezing air will reach remains an open question, making it difficult to precisely forecast ice and snow accumulation. Where it happens, dangerous travel conditions and power outages are possible.

Winter storm watches and advisories already are in place for more than 12 million people in portions of states from New Mexico to North Carolina. Texas' governor on Friday raised the state's official readiness level as the stormed pushed in, while his counterpart in North Carolina announced he'll declare a statewide state of emergency.

As the storm develops, forecast models will more accurately predict the freezing line and thus the type of precipitation places will experience, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.

Here is what CNN meteorologists expect, where and when:

Texas and Oklahoma

Timing: Friday morning through Saturday evening

Precipitation begins with freezing rain and drizzle in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and possibly into central Oklahoma. Main winter weather impacts occur late Friday, with a quick transition from a wintry mix to snow after midnight for the Texas Panhandle and West Texas and several inches of rain through Friday night across much of southeast Texas. If precipitation makes it into eastern Oklahoma, it won't turn to snow until later Saturday.

Impacts: Snow, ice and flooding rain

Snowfall in Texas will likely be in the 2- to 4-inch range but could reach 6 inches. Southern and eastern Texas can expect a lot of rain impacting major cities, including Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Nearly 20 million people are under a flood or flash flood watch or warning in eastern Texas. San Antonio and Houston could see flash flooding, as rainfall total could reach 3 to 6 inches, with as much as 10 inches in isolated spots.

Oklahoma City may end up being on the line between dry and wet air. Still, there is a chance for some wintry weather in central Oklahoma, with snow accumulation of 1 to 4 inches and possibly one-10th of an inch of ice from Lubbock, Texas, to Oklahoma City. Tulsa, Oklahoma, will see some ice, as well as snow of 1 to 2 inches.

Arkansas and western Tennessee

Timing: Friday afternoon through Saturday

Most Arkansans won't feel precipitation until later Friday, with winter weather beginning in the overnight hours and moving east Saturday morning toward Tennessee.

Impacts: Flooding rains, wintry mix, mountain snow

The southern half of Arkansas will get caught up in a similar situation as East Texas, with 4 to 5 inches of rain and flash flooding possible. Central Arkansas looks to only pick up, at most, 1 inch of snow. Meantime the higher elevations of the Ozark Mountains will likely see 2 to 6 inches of snow on top of a glaze of ice up to a quarter of an inch.

Snow totals will be lower in northeastern Arkansas and northwestern Tennessee, where a trace to 1 inch of snow is possible.

Eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia and the Carolinas

Timing: Saturday morning through Monday morning

Precipitation creeps in early Saturday, with rain in Georgia and some light, wintry precipitation in the mountains. It picks up Saturday afternoon, when blizzard conditions are possible in the higher Appalachians, with larger accumulations Sunday into early Monday morning across the zone. The storm on Monday probably will move out to sea, but it also could turn and climb up the East Coast, bringing heavy snow to major metro areas.

Impacts: Record snow, blizzard conditions, wintry mix

Significant snow is expected -- but not certain -- across the mountains of northeast Georgia and North and South Carolina. Estimates range from 1 foot to almost 2 feet in the mountains and foothills west of Interstate 85. Parts of North Carolina could see record snowfall, described by the National Weather Service called a "once-in-a-generation event." That includes Winston-Salem and Asheville, which could get a foot of snow; Raleigh, with 1 to 2 inches possible; and Charlotte. Greenville, South Carolina is likely to get 1 inch of snow.

While most forecast models keep the winter precipitation tucked into Carolinas, one shows possible freezing rain reaching down the I-85 corridor on Sunday night into Monday to Atlanta, which also could get a dusting of snow Monday afternoon.

Snow totals east of I-85 will on depend on a regional weather phenomenon called "cold-air damming" or "the wedge" -- when cold air pushes in from the northeast against the Appalachians. The mountain range acts as a dam, keeping the cold air pooled like a lake. Warmer air in this scenario would reduce snow accumulation. There's another phenomenon called a "warm nose" that would allow warmer air to mix in above the "'wedge," bringing a more wintry mix Saturday evening and overnight into Sunday morning before snow moves in northwest of I-85.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64400

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5416112
DeSoto347227
Madison236360
Harrison228735
Rankin220231
Jackson215641
Jones182857
Forrest170155
Washington154835
Lauderdale137990
Lee129732
Neshoba126490
Lamar117713
Oktibbeha107737
Lowndes102333
Bolivar101032
Warren99531
Scott97820
Panola96012
Sunflower94223
Copiah92928
Lafayette90714
Leflore88261
Pike86133
Holmes85948
Grenada81921
Yazoo80312
Lincoln78741
Pontotoc7808
Leake77625
Simpson76730
Wayne74921
Monroe73151
Coahoma68410
Tate68327
Marion63419
Marshall6169
Covington60313
Adams59625
Winston59315
Union55215
George5454
Newton53011
Pearl River51537
Tallahatchie51210
Attala51024
Walthall48219
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee43811
Claiborne39913
Calhoun3929
Smith38913
Clay38014
Jasper3799
Alcorn3775
Prentiss3699
Hancock34914
Tishomingo3445
Itawamba32310
Clarke32225
Tippah32013
Tunica3076
Yalobusha30410
Lawrence3027
Montgomery3023
Humphreys28111
Carroll24811
Quitman2381
Greene23011
Kemper22715
Jefferson Davis2256
Perry2207
Amite2176
Webster21112
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson19313
Sharkey1913
Stone1603
Choctaw1294
Benton1280
Franklin1152
Issaquena241
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Columbus
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Oxford
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 63°
Starkville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather