Snowstorm marches north after blanketing Southeast

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The South got an early taste of winter, but the Northeast didn’t have to wait much longer.

The same weather system that dumped snow Friday on much of the Southeast — leaving a foot in some pockets of the Southeast — is marching up the East Coast, where major cities are forecast to get several inches of snowfall over the weekend.

“This is the first significant winter storm for the East Coast,” CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said Saturday. “Once this storm moves off the coast, it will have blanketed a swath of snow stretching roughly 2,000 miles from the Deep South to the New England coast.”

More than 70 million people across the upper South and Northeast are under a winter storm warning, watch or advisory. That total will drop to just over 50 million people as the storm system moves away from the Southeast.

Snow began falling Saturday morning in Washington, then up to New York City and through the Northeast. The storm’s impact will vary along the path, with Washington and New York expecting between 3 and 6 inches of snow Saturday into Sunday, while Boston may be a bit higher, according to Van Dam.

The storm is expected to drop 6 to 8 inches of snow on Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, while Philadelphia should get about 3 to 5 inches, the National Weather Service said.

Track the storm

As the snowstorm moves away from the Southeast, it’ll leave a series of temperatures well below average for most areas across the region.

“Atlanta should be 55 (degrees), but only a high of 41 is predicted for Saturday,” Van Dam said. “D.C. should be 49 this time of year … only predicting a high of 35 for Saturday.”

There was one storm-related death in Atlanta when a man was electrocuted after making contact with a downed power line, police said.

The plunging temperatures and wintry precipitation affected hundreds of flights, with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announcing more than 1,000 flight cancellations Friday and an additional 375 on Saturday. Other airlines, including Southwest and United, said weather conditions will disrupt flights in the South and Northeast.

And the wintry conditions weren’t quite finished for Georgia or the Carolinas, as some snow continued into the early morning hours.

“Cold air behind this system will cause some of the already fallen snow to refreeze on untreated roadways across the Southeast overnight and into Saturday morning,” Van Dam said.

Whiteouts, blackouts

In the South, flurries started tumbling down Thursday night in south Texas, which rarely gets snow.

Snow and ice led to hazardous driving conditions overnight Friday in cities such as Atlanta, but temperatures will be warm enough for it to melt Saturday afternoon, Van Dam said.

Mountainous areas of the South reported the heaviest accumulations Friday, the weather service said.

Atlanta received about 3-4 inches of snow, while other parts of northern Georgia received up to a foot, according to the National Weather Service.

More than 260,000 customers were without power in the Southeast due to the storm, utility companies said.

In Alabama, 5 inches of snow had fallen by Friday in Birmingham, knocking out power and leaving thousands of people in the dark.

In Mississippi’s capital, the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport got at least 4.9 inches, the city’s largest snowfall since January 1982, CNN affiliate WLBT reported.

Meanwhile, another storm is making its way through the Great Lakes area this weekend, the weather service said.

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