South Buckles Up for 'Mind-Boggling' Ice Storm

Worst is a wedge from Alabama to North Carolina
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2014 4:39 PM CST
Richard Russell Scenic Hwy 348 is closed near Helen, Ga.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)

(Newser) – At least Atlanta won't have traffic jams for this storm, unlike last month. The AP reports that "streets and highways in metro Atlanta were largely deserted" this afternoon ahead of what is expected to be a monster ice storm in parts of the South. It helps that the National Weather Service is using language like this: “The [forecast] ice accumulations remain mind-boggling if not historical,” as noted by the Washington Post. And this: "High ice accumulations will make travel impossible. This has the potential to be a catastrophic event."

The worst of it is expected to develop overnight, with ice one-half to one inch thick possible not only in Atlanta but in cities such as Athens and Augusta, Ga.; Columbia, SC; and Raleigh, NC, reports USA Today. The NWS insists it's not exaggerating with the language in its forecasts. "Sometimes we want to tell them, 'Hey, listen, this warning is different,' explains one meteorologist. "This is really extremely dangerous and it doesn't happen very often.'" Click for the latest NWS forecasts. (Read more National Weather Service stories.)

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