The Deep South is Snowbound, Storm Heads to Northeast

The storm which slammed California with torrential rain and high winds aided by a strong pineapple express  and caused floods, mudslides, avalanche conditions. The storm left blizzard conditions to the Great Plains and the Midwest brought Snow to the south is projected to become a powerful nor’easter. From AP Via Yahoo News:

A winter storm that brought a rare white Christmas to parts of the South was barreling up the East Coast early Sunday, with forecasters predicting 6 to 10 inches of snow for Washington and blizzard conditions for New York City and New England.

Airlines canceled hundreds of Sunday flights in the Northeast corridor, with more likely to come as the storm intensifies.

Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency early Sunday or Saturday night. As North Carolina road crews tried to clear snowy and icy highways, Mid-Atlantic officials spent Christmas Day preparing for up to a foot of snow, plunging temperatures and high winds.

“Our concern is tomorrow it’s going to get significantly colder,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told The Weather Channel on Saturday evening. “Winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour will cause blowing snow and that’s going to cause the worst of it … and we’re urging extreme caution in travel. Try to get home early and if you don’t have to travel don’t go.”

Continental Airlines canceled 250 Sunday departures from Newark Liberty International Airport outside New York City. United Airlines announced late Saturday that it had canceled dozens of Sunday departures from Newark, Philadelphia, New York’s LaGuardia and JFK, Boston and other airports. AirTran also canceled flights, as did Southwest Airlines, mostly in or out of Washington Dulles, Baltimore and Newark.

Early Sunday, winter storm warnings covered northern Georgia, the Carolinas, Washington, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the eastern sections of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. Winter weather advisories were in effect for eastern Tennessee and Kentucky, West Virginia and northwest Virginia.

The system gave the Carolinas its first white Christmas in decades. Columbia, S.C., had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887.

In Asheville, N.C., the Weather Service said about an inch of snow was falling an hour Saturday. As much as 10 inches could fall by Sunday morning, which would break the previous Christmas Day record of 5.4 inches set in 1969.

Lance Cpl. Bill Rhyne, the Upstate spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said late Saturday that snow was starting to cover roads but that there were fewer accidents than there would be on a normal night.

“Everybody’s at home,” he said. “It’s Christmas. They’re heeding the warnings and staying off the roads.”

In Nashville, some travelers who expected a smooth trip on Christmas got a rude surprise.

“We were hoping this was going to be a good day to travel,” said Heather Bansmer, 36, of Bellingham, Wash.

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