Early-season winter storm shifting north, 335 000+ customers without power, travel disruption

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An early season winter storm, named Avery by The Weather Channel, continues to spread snow from the mid-Mississippi River Valley into the Ohio Valley today, November 15 along with potentially significant icing for the central Appalachians and a risk for heavy rain along the coastal Mid-Atlantic. The storm will shift north tonight with heavy snow and icing impacts shifting across much of the Northeast. 

Nearly 400 000 customers across the region were without power today and yesterday. As of 14:00 CST (20:00 UTC) today, 335 127 customers are still without power. 107 448 in Ohio, 95 581 in Kentucky, 70 594 in Indiana and 61 504 in Virginia.

At least two people were killed and 44 injured when a bus overturned on an icy Interstate 269 in Byhalia near Memphis, Mississippi on November 14. At least three of the 44 injured are in critical condition.

“Witnesses told investigators that the driver lost control after crossing an icy overpass and the bus rolled over on the driver’s side, coming to rest in the highway median,” said Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Johnny Poulos.

Three people were killed in separate crashes on icy roads in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Near record-breaking cold swept into the South and brought snow as far down as the Deep South, hitting Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Texas, for example, recorded temperatures 14 °C (25 °F) or more below average.

Houston, TX recorded its earliest snowfall ever on November 14, breaking its previous record for first observed snowfall set on November 23, 1979.

St. Louis, MO area received up to 152 mm (6 inches) of snow by 06:00 CST on November 15, with more continuing to fall, the weather service said. Union received 63 mm (2.5 inches) within just 4 hours to 06:00 today.

Wright City, MO (located approximately 80 km / 50 miles west of downtown St. Louis) received 249 mm (9.8 inches) as of 14:00 CST (20:00 UTC), breaking the all-time record snowfall for a single day in November (St. Louis) of 193 mm (7.6 inches). 

Foristell received 221 mm (8.7 inches), Washington 213 mm (8.4 inches), Rosebud and Wentzville 206 mm (8.1 inches).

“The big weather story across the continental US through the end of the work week will be the nor’easter affecting the northeastern US,” NWS forecaster Hamrick notes. “Many locations from Virginia to New York have received noteworthy early season snow, with some inland locations getting in excess of 6 inches thus far.” 

This storm system will continue lifting northward along the coast and bring widespread inland snow from Pennsylvania to Maine, with the possibility of 305 mm (1 foot) or more of snow accumulation for parts of upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania.

Winter storm warnings are currently posted from eastern West Virginia to western Maine, and winter weather advisories extend westward to include parts of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region.

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“Sleet and freezing rain are also likely across parts of the central Appalachians to the Hudson Valley region of New York. Strong winds and coastal flooding will be possible from Long Island to coastal Maine as the low pressure intensifies overnight and into Friday,” Hamrick said, adding that improving conditions will return in time for the weekend.

Elsewhere across the U.S., a series of cold fronts dropping southward from Canada will lead to snow across the northern tier of the country as well.

By Thursday night, a front will approach the northern Rockies and then the northern Plains, and light snow will overspread those areas.

Snow is forecast to move southward with the cold front across the central Rockies and central Plains and then the middle Mississippi Valley by Friday evening.

The northern and central Rockies could see 127 – 154 mm (5 to 10 inches) of snow, and a swath of 51 – 102 mm (2 to 4 inches) of snow is expected from the northern Plains to parts of the Upper Midwest Valley by Saturday morning, followed by a fresh surge of very cold weather.

Featured image credit @WrenDaVise

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