Winter Storm Leon: a good time to test your preps
As Winter Storm Leon bears down on the South, Places that rarely get snow are bracing for impact. Moist air from the Gulf of Mexico is hitting a frozen Alberta Clipper and will test the resiliency of many. Stores are out of bread and milk, bottled water, and batteries. At this point, either you are ready for this storm, or you are not.
Greatest Icing Threat: Significant icing is possible from southern Louisiana to south Mississippi, south Alabama, south Georgia and coastal South Carolina. Within this zone, there appears to be an enhanced threat of damaging heavy accumulations of ice around Savannah, GA, and Charleston, SC. A threat of icing and a few inches of snow or sleet will also extend westward into southern Mississippi, Louisiana and southeast Texas – the storm is hitting TX now.
Greatest Snow Threat: Significant snow accumulations are forecast from central South Carolina to eastern NC (Raleigh), to southeast VA (Norfolk); unless precipitation mixes with sleet, amounts of 6" or more are possible. Snow will probably accumulate as far west as the I-85 corridor in the Carolinas and perhaps even into the eastern foothills of the Appalachians. Uncharacteristic for the Deep South, there's a good chance of light snow accumulations for Jackson, MS, Birmingham, AL, and Atlanta, GA.
Yesterday folks were wearing tee shirts in their open convertibles. Today…. People in most of the region do not even own snow shovels or stock rock salt: our family will be using a square-ended garden shovel and ice cream maker salt, which is pretty much rock salt in a box. Stay warm and stay dry, and try not to drive anywhere except for emergencies. Most Southerners have no clue how to drive in snow and ice and fellow drivers can be the biggest hazard in such weather, followed by overdoing it with a snow shovel and having a heart attack. This is the South; the snow will melt soon enough, so don't strain yourself!
Extreme cold will follow the storm. If your power goes off–most of the South uses electric heat–and you use alternate heat beware of the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. In an extreme temperature emergency, remember that you can cover your dining room table with blankets and your body heat will help keep that small space warm.