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Deep South Braces for 'Paralyzing' Winter Storm
Schools closed; hundreds of flights canceled
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 28, 2014 6:33 AM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2014 7:09 AM CST
Icicles formed overnight near a Louisiana license plate in Covington, La. Friday morning, Jan. 24, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Times-Picayune, David Grunfeld)

(Newser) – The next big winter storm is reportedly on its way, and this time, it's the Deep South that will be feeling its effects. The Weather Channel sees 40 million people in the path of Winter Storm Leon, which an expert says could bring once-in-a-generation weather; another calls the storm "potentially paralyzing." Schools from Texas to Florida have planned closures today, and hundreds of flights have already been canceled in the region, NBC News reports. Winter storm warnings and advisories are in effect between central and southeast Texas, across the Gulf Coast, and through Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland, as well as parts of the Northeast.

Charleston, SC, and Savannah, Ga., could see ice storms, while eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia face the highest risk of snow topping six inches. Icy temperatures are again plaguing the Great Lakes, with wind chills nearing 50 degrees below zero, NBC notes. Many schools across the region planned to close, including in Chicago, where wind chills could hit 40 below, the Tribune reports. In some areas, temperatures could be some 35 degrees below normal. The frosty conditions come amid a national propane shortage, NBC notes, prompting states of emergency in Minnesota and Illinois as prices double. On the lighter side, nature is making its own snowballs, LiveScience reports. The strength of winds and stickiness of the snow in the East and Midwest is resulting in snow rollers—natural formations in the shape of tubes and doughnuts.

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Chuck Anziulewicz
Jan 29, 2014 9:23 AM CST
"Winter Storm Leon?" What gives you the impression this snow storm had a name? Since when have snow events EVER had names? Hurricanes and typhoons have names, given to them by the appropriate government agency. Snow storms do NOT have names. The National Weather Service (NWS) hasn't named the snow, nor has the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Neither the NWS, NOAA, nor anyone I know is referring to this weather system as "Leon." Oh, WAIT A MINUTE. You must be referring to The Weather Channel. Yes, in what can only be described as a shameless, pretentious publicity stunt, they have taken it upon themselves to start naming every snow event that comes along, and in the process they have become a bit of a laughingstock. Who knows? Maybe this summer, when things have started quieting down, they'll start naming HEAT WAVES! It makes you wonder how we ever survived the old days when snow was just called SNOW, not given a cute name by The Weather Channel, which is owned by NBC and not the government. Is it REALLY necessary to pander to their sense of self-importance?
Jan 28, 2014 1:27 PM CST
Shrugs. It's just Ol' Man Winter making his rounds, and looking into new territory.
Jan 28, 2014 12:01 PM CST
Calm down kiddies, it's only some bad weather. Strap on yer booties before ya go outside. Better yet, stay indoors with some hot co-co, and wait for 'Big Al' to come a knockin on yer door. He will rescue you in his giant gas guzzling, Global Heating, SUV!