— -- The South was turned into a winter wonderland on Friday when a storm moved through the region, shrouding it in snow.
While children may have enjoyed playing in the white stuff, the storm caused thousands of power outages, hundreds of flight delays and cancellations and roadways to be littered with automobile accidents.
Snow reached as far south as Brownsville, Texas, which experienced its first measurable snow since December 2004. Also in Texas, seven inches of snow was reported in Corpus Christi. The last time the city saw measurable snow was also in 2004. The snow caused more than 15,000 power outages there. Houston also received its first measurable snow since 2009.
One inch of snow was reported in Mobile, Alabama -- the earliest measurable snow there since records began in 1842. In Louisiana's Tangipahoa Parish, there were over 29,000 power outages. In Mississippi, local states of emergency were put into effect for Hattiesburg and Petal.
In Georgia, over 46,000 power outages were reported, and one person was killed after stepping on downed power lines.
But as of Saturday morning, the storm system was moving off to the north and east -- but some parts of the South will still be very chilly.
There is still a lingering swath of snow over parts of Alabama, Georgia, as well as into the Appalachians of Virginia and North Carolina. Snow is beginning to move into parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast Saturday morning, with snow moving in from the South in an area spanning Maryland to Connecticut.
There are winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings stretching from parts of Mississippi to Maine Saturday morning. Freeze warnings have also been issued for the Gulf Coast.
The heaviest of the snow will fall during the day on Saturday from Philadelphia to Boston.
An axis of the heaviest accumulations will stretch from parts of the Delmarva Peninsula, through southern New Jersey, eastern Long Island and into parts of southern New England, including Boston. Three to six inches of snow is expected in these areas.
In the Great Lakes Region, Lake Effect snow will develop in parts of Michigan and Northern Indiana on Saturday. Locally, heavy bands of snow could bring whiteout conditions.
On Sunday, the concern for Lake Effect snow will shift towards Buffalo and Watertown, New York. A weak clipper system will arrive late on Sunday into Monday, but at this point, the system does not appear to be significant.
Over on the West Coast, the Thomas Fire is now at 143,000 acres in Ventura County with containment at 10 percent. The blaze has become the 16th largest wildfire in the state and has been burning since Monday evening.
The Lilac fire has burned 4,100 acres, and is zero percent contained. Over 5,000 structures are threatened there, with 85 structures already burned.
Unfortunately, there is not much relief in the forecast for those fire-ravaged areas. Extreme fire danger will remain in the region through the weekend. Red Flag Warnings have remained in effect for much of Southern California with peak wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph. Low relative humidity –- as low as 5 percent -- is likely through this period.
Winds could exceed 50 mph in the mountains east of San Diego. This area will be of particular concern for fire growth on Saturday night and Sunday.