With a rare white Christmas in parts of the Southeast and snow predicted for the nation’s Capital, airlines canceled hundreds of flights and urged travelers to rethink their plans, while travel authorities warned of potentially dangerous roads.
After blanketing parts of the Midwest and hampering motorists there on Christmas Eve, the storm dipped south late Friday. Winter weather advisories were in effect Saturday morning from Arkansas to the Carolinas and from West Virginia to central Alabama. Much of North Carolina was under a winter storm warning.
The National Weather Service said the storm could bring more than 5 inches of snow to the Washington region.
The Weather Service said a storm is within 36 hours of the Washington area, bringing a 50 percent chance or greater of 5 inches or more of snow. Meteorologist Stephen Konarik said the storm could hit the area Sunday morning and end Sunday night or early Monday with the peak period of snowfall Sunday afternoon and early evening.
The wintry weather is the result of a low pressure system moving along the Gulf coast. It is expected to intensify and move northeast on Sunday to the mid-Atlantic states and New England. Just how far off the coast the low pressure system stays will determine whether areas such as Washington, D.C. get hit with snow on Sunday, said National Weather Service forecaster Jared Klein in northern Virginia.