A rare winter storm in the Deep South brought the region to a standstill. The winter storm put down a swath of 1-4” across the area with ice accumulations in some areas between ¼” to ½”. In Atlanta, a 5 million people metropolis saw 2.6” recorded yesterday at the airport. It may not seem like much, but it was enough snow to cause traffic chaos. Here’s a couple images from the Atlanta area highways where traffic was brought to a halt. These scenes played out across the city.
(ALL IMAGES FROM NBC NEWS)
There were 1,200 traffic accidents recorded yesterday in the Atlanta area with around 130 people injured. As day turned into night, many cars were abandoned on the roads while people too shelter in nearby churches, schools, and even grocery stores.
Snow and ice like this is a very rare event in this part of the country. This was the biggest storm the area had seen in years. The city of Atlanta had only 40 snow plows and 30 sand trucks to handle all the roads in the Atlanta area. On top of that…businesses and schools all closed at the sand time sending a huge amount of people out on the roads. The combination created chaos. It was Atlanta’s worst driving day since 1982 when the city picked up 6” of snow and stranded thousands of motorists.
Meanwhile, earlier this week while much of the eastern U.S. has been frigid, Alaska has been very mild lately. On Monday, Port Alsworth, AK topped out at 62 degrees, which tied the record with two other towns for the all-time warmest record for the month of January.
The record warmth is all a result of a big ridge of high pressure over the California area that has allowed the jet stream well up into Alaska. It’s been keeping that state very warm for much of this winter. Meanwhile, for the eastern U.S. including the Midwest, we’ve had relentless rounds of Arctic air that have made their all the way from Siberia. It’s been quite the crazy winter! We’ll hope for all the best in February. All in all, we don’t see any major changes for us.