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Shivering South braces for another wintry blast next week

Shivering South braces for another wintry blast next week
Credit: Adrian Sainz, AP
A line of semi-trucks, tow trucks and cars sits stationary on Interstate 40 westbound as road crews clear up an accident on Jan. 12, 2018, near Henderson, Tenn.

A new blast of bitter arctic air is expected to sweep South next week, bringing the possibility of snow and ice from Dallas to Birmingham.

Up to two inches of snow is possible from Little Rock to Nashville, which is only now emerging from an ice storm that sent travelers spinning. Dallas, Shreveport, and Jackson, Miss., could all see snow or a mix of snow and ice.

Forecasters say the cold arriving late Monday and into Tuesday will send temperatures below freezing into much of the South.

How much moisture remains along the eastward-moving front will determine whether the snow and icy mix fizzles before reaching Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., or continues to march eastward across the Southeast on Tuesday night into Wednesday, AccuWeather forecasters say.

“In the latter scenario, snow and sleet may again fall as far south as the Gulf Coast of Alabama and northern Florida,” AccuWeather meteorologist Faith Eherts said.

The South is already reeling from an icy and snowy mix that sent cars and trucks spinning off highways and closed two interstates overnight Saturday.

At one point, the Tennessee National Guard was called out with Humvees and a wrecker to held clear I-40, which was was shut down over a 12-mile stretch because of multi-vehicle accidents.

Downtown bridges were closed at one point in Nashville and jack-knifed tractor-trailers dotted interstates throughout the city and surrounding area.

Much of the state felt the effect of the winter storm. The National Weather Service said Jackson, Tenn., 130 miles southwest of Nashville, received more than 3 1/2 inches of snow.

Ice and snow were expected to remain a threat for much of the three-day weekend, prompting the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to urge people to drive "only if absolutely necessary."

The unusually icy conditions that gripped parts of the state are part of a long system angling across the eastern U.S. that is expected to bring ice and heavy snow from the interior Mid-Atlantic to New England.

"Ice accumulations up to a quarter of an inch could cause power outages and create hazardous travel conditions," the National Weather Service said.

The greatest threat for freezing rain and ice accumulations was expected from
southern New Hampshire into eastern Maine: up to a tenth of an inch as the arrival of a strong cold front sends temperatures plummeting..

Forecasters said there could be up to to 12 inches of snow around the Great Lakes.

For the northern tier of the country, there was little relief in sight from the bitter cold. Bismarck. N.D., was already in the deep freeze at minus 9 degrees.

Across the northern Plains into Kansas and Missouri, high temperatures for Saturday were expected to average 15 to 20 degrees below average.

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