Southern snow: Winter storm to roar from Texas to Virginia

Now it's the South's turn to get in on the snowy fun.

A rare southern winter storm is forecast to bring ice and snow all the way from southern Texas to southern Virginia later Tuesday and into Wednesday.

"Very hazardous travel is likely across a long swath of the South ... in the Tuesday to Wednesday timeframe," reported Weather Channel meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

"A band of snow, sleet, and freezing rain is expected to materialize by Tuesday afternoon near the central Gulf Coast, and become heavier over eastern North Carolina and into South Carolina, with very cold air in place," according to National Weather Service meteorologist David Hamrick.

Snow totals are expected to top three inches from southeastern Alabama to eastern North Carolina, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. This zone stretches across Montgomery, Ala., Augusta, Ga., and lies just east of Raleigh.

"A small area in eastern parts of the Carolinas will even have upwards of 6 inches from this storm, including Fayetteville, N.C. and Columbia, S.C.," she reports.

The weather service has issued a continuous stretch of winter storm watches, warnings and advisories from southeast Texas east along the Gulf Coast through Georgia, the southern half of South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and far southeast Virginia, a distance of more than 1,200 miles.

For Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga., it's the first winter storm watch issued for those two cities since Feb. 11, 2010, according to Wiltgen.

Meanwhile, incredibly cold temperatures and wind chills will continue through Wednesday across much of the eastern U.S.

"The air mass -- and the associated surface high pressure with it -- is literally coming from the North Pole and heading nearly due south into the central U.S. by Tuesday!" said Hamrick. "Widespread subzero lows are expected north of the Ohio River by this time, and subfreezing highs are expected well into the Deep South."


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