Record snow, stranded drivers, thousands without power. That's what the southern states had to deal with this week as a potent winter storm swept across the region.
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This is the third storm to hit the Deep South in less than a week. Since the storms began, airlines have been severely affected, canceling nearly 7,000 flights. The roads weren't much better. Interstate 65 in northern Alabama was at a standstill Wednesday night, for the second time this week.
Huntsville, Alabama, received 8.1 inches Wednesday, breaking a daily record. It was also the snowiest February day and the second snowiest day of any month on record there.
Tupelo, Mississippi, had 7.3 inches of snow, which is the biggest daily snowfall on record for the city. Even Little Rock picked up 1.6 inches of snow. In the past five years 47.7 inches have fallen there, more than in the previous two decades combined. Parts of northern Alabama saw over a foot of snow.
In the northeast, Boston is so cold the waves have turned into a frozen slush on the island of Nantucket. Boston has 102 inches of snow so far this season, more than three times the 33 inches that is normal up to this point in the season. They only need 5.7 inches to break the all-time record.
Record lows are possible in the Midwest and eastern Great Lakes Friday morning. Even colder air moves east by Saturday morning and record lows possible in the Northeast, as well.
If Pittsburgh drops below zero, it will be the eighth time this season, which hasn’t happened since the early 1980s. Syracuse, New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Bangor, Maine, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and New York City are forecasted to have a top-three coldest February on record.
This record cold affects the Great Lakes. Ice coverage is up to 85.5 percent, which is the fourth highest since records began in 1973. All the lakes are completely frozen except for Michigan and Ontario.
A big pattern change will dip the jet stream out West, bringing pulses of snow through the Rockies today and Friday. Precipitation out West is a good thing, with even some snow expected for the Sierras, which is in dire need of it.
Then a series of storms will keep unsettled weather from the Rockies to Midwest to Northeast, the first one starting Saturday. By Sunday morning, Kansas to Pennsylvania will see a wintry mess of moderate to locally heavy snow, and will then move into the Northeast Sunday into Monday.