Colorado and Parts of the South Brace for Simultaneous Weekend Wintry Blast
A pair of storms are likely to being wintry misery to two parts of the country: Colorado and parts of the Southeast.
The southern storm is likely to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to a large chunk of the Tennessee Valley, Blue Ridge Mountains and the Piedmont. Cities like Memphis, Nashville, Huntsville, Ala. and Atlanta will be dealing with slick and hazardous roads, as well as the threat for power outages. Travel from Friday afternoon into Saturday is ill-advised.
While the storm in the Southeast is on-going, another system — over the Colorado Rockies — will be developing. Models are indicating this storm could bring some of the largest snow totals of the season, to the Front Range. Snow will probably start in the late evening hours of Friday and continue well into Sunday.
Below is a breakdown of each system and impacts on their respective regions.
Southern Wintry Mess
The likelihood of a multi-day, high-impact system moving into the South is becoming more certain by the hour. Freezing rain advisories, winter weather advisories, winter storm watches and winter storm warnings have already been issued from southern Arkansas to East Tennessee.
WeatherNation meteorologists have been scouring the latest model data and here’s the current thinking:
A combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain will begin to fall across parts of the South — from Arkansas through Tennessee — beginning in the mid-morning and early afternoon hours. Icing will being in Arkansas, on Friday, especially north of the I-40 corridor. This means travel in and around the Little Rock area will be treacherous from noon through the overnight hours. As the afternoon progresses, a light-to-moderate shield of precipitation will continue to move over parts of the Mid-South and into the Tennessee Valley; impacting places like Memphis, Nashville and Huntsville, Ala.
Moving through the overnight hours, warmer air will being to overspread much of Arkansas and western Tennessee. This will switch precipitation over to all rain and limit travel issues in the region by early Saturday. That said, points east — in Tennessee, north Alabama and northern Georgia will still be dealing with wintry weather through the overnight hours.
The wintry mess will still be spreading east though the early morning hours; impacting cities like Nashville, Knoxville and Atlanta. As the day progresses, warmer air will also begin to push into sections of northern Alabama and central Tennessee. Parts of northern Georgia, however, will be a totally different story. Due to the “wedge” effect — that’s where cold air dams up against the Appalachian Mountains and dives south — wintry weather could stick around a bit longer for northeastern sections of Georgia. That includes some counties — Hall, Gwinnett and Walton — in the Atlanta Metro.
By late Saturday, the transition to all rain should be complete across much of the South. That said, some of the higher elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains could still be dealing with some wintry precipitation.
Rain will push through the region. At this time, no wintry weather is expected on Sunday.
After a few bouts with light to moderately-heavy snowfalls, Denver — and may areas of the Front Range for that matter — are likely to get their first big snow event of the year, this weekend. And the models are indicating some pretty staggering snowfall totals with this weekend system.
Here’s what we know:
Models are indicating that a mix of rain and snow will begin falling on Friday evening, but would transition to all snow as colder air settles into the area. Moving into Saturday, snow along the Front Range — especially from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs — is likely to be very heavy at times.
Road conditions will rapidly deteriorate and visibility will be very limited. Travel, from late Saturday to early Sunday, is strongly discouraged. Snow will continue to fall throughout the day, on Sunday as well. Although it should become lighter.
When all is said and done, 10 to 16 inches of snow is likely in the Denver area and points southward could see north of 18 inches of snow. Some of the mountain peaks could see upwards of two feet.
These are both developing weather systems and WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the storms as they pass though out area.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond