Winter storm covering parts of the south with snow and ice


NASHVILLE: A winter storm blanketed parts of the South in snow, freezing rain and sleet on Thursday, blocking roads in Tennessee and Kentucky as the system tracked a path through the Appalachians towards the Mid-Atlantic and the northeast.
Nashville saw 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) of snowfall Thursday, breaking the city’s previous Jan. 6 record of 4 inches (10 centimeters) that had stood since 1977, the National Weather Service said. Areas blanketed in freezing rain and sleet around the Tennessee-Alabama state line, said Scott Unger, meteorologist for the service in Nashville.
Authorities have urged people to travel only when necessary as Nashville Metro Police reported crashes and other driving issues that rumbled and slowed several roads. City police reported dozens of wrecks on the road early in the afternoon. A slew of accidents and other issues have stranded drivers on several area highways.
Along the Kentucky border, authorities in Montgomery County, Tennessee, were also dealing with dozens of accidents, including a wreck that killed one person involving a commercial vehicle on Interstate 24, according to the gate. -Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman, Lt. Bill Miller.
Tennessee Department of Transportation regional spokeswoman Rebekah Hammonds tweeted Thursday that the agency is “cleaning up as much as possible, but issues will persist as snow continues to fall and temperatures drop.”
While temperatures are expected to drop overnight, everything on the ground will freeze and create dangerous road conditions on Friday, Unger said.
Tennessee schools canceled classes and governments temporarily closed buildings, as far west as Memphis and Shelby County, which saw a dose of ice and snow. Governor Bill Lee has closed state offices across Tennessee. Both Nashville and Memphis have seen their share of flights canceled at their airports.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has warned the snow hitting his state is “both real and dangerous”, with hundreds of car crashes across the state. Some areas had already received more than half a foot by early afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Ron Steve said. Beshear has declared a state of emergency and said it has deployed Kentucky National Guard teams to help with the response, especially during interstate shutdowns. Search and rescue teams have been activated for safety checks on stranded motorists.
Beshear closed state offices at noon Thursday and then extended the closure through Friday.
The heaviest snowfall Thursday night was 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 centimeters) in a band from Elizabethtown to Bardstown and Nicholasville to Lexington, said meteorologist Brian Schoettmer of the Louisville Weather Service office. Eastern Kentucky recorded 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) and extreme western Kentucky had about 3 inches (8 centimeters).
In Elizabethtown, officials said a pile-up of 20 to 30 cars in snowy conditions Thursday afternoon closed both lanes of the Western Kentucky Parkway.
Kentucky transportation officials said the snow was falling so fast that by the time they finished plowing some routes, they were already covered in snow again.
First Lady Jill Biden, meanwhile, had to cancel her trip scheduled for Thursday to view the damage from last month’s tornado in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The storm presented an expected boon to the ski industry in West Virginia, where up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snowfall was forecast. Three of the state’s four main downhill ski resorts had suspended on-piste operations earlier this week due to warmer conditions. Now the activity resumed.
“West Virginia looks forward to welcoming travelers to our snow-capped mountains this winter,” said Chelsea Ruby, secretary of the state’s Department of Tourism.
The storm’s track could create other headaches as it swirls through the mid-Atlantic and northeast.
In Virginia, work was underway both to prepare for the expected snowfall and to mitigate the effects of a winter storm earlier in the week that left hundreds of drivers stranded on Interstate 95.
Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and called in the Virginia National Guard for further assistance.
Areas of Washington and Baltimore, parts of central and southern Maryland and parts of northern Virginia should expect 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of snow overnight Thursday through Friday morning , with high amounts isolated up to 6 inches (15 centimeters), forecasters said.
Massachusetts was bracing for 8 inches (20 centimeters) or more of the first snowstorm of 2022, and as a precaution, many state workers were told to stay home Friday. Gov. Charlie Baker also urged residents to work from home or use public transportation so highways are free of traffic and can be easily cleared.
From late Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon, 4 to 7 inches of snow were expected in parts of central and southern New Hampshire, and south-central and southwestern Maine, according to the meteorological service. The highest quantities are expected along the coast. The steadiest snow will be expected during the morning commute on Friday before tapering off.
In Michigan, meanwhile, Great Lakes-fed snow fell for a second straight day on Thursday in the western part of the state and the Upper Peninsula, with some communities reporting remarkable amounts and bracing for even more here. friday.
Ishpeming recorded 23 inches (58 centimeters) in one location, while many other areas on the Upper Peninsula had a foot or more, the National Weather Service said.
In North Dakota, dangerously freezing weather presented the greatest risk on Thursday. Cold temperatures enveloping the state pushed wind chill readings to minus 59 degrees in Bowbells, the county seat of Burke County in northwestern North Dakota. Bismarck was 41 below zero, according to the National Weather Service.
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