Deep South Braces for 'Paralyzing' Winter Storm

Schools closed; hundreds of flights canceled

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 28, 2014 6:33 AM CST | Updated Jan 28, 2014 7:09 AM CST

(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.

Icicles formed overnight near a Louisiana license plate in Covington, La. Friday morning, Jan. 24, 2014.
Icicles formed overnight near a Louisiana license plate in Covington, La. Friday morning, Jan. 24, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Times-Picayune, David Grunfeld)
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