Winter 2011-2012: Southeast Set for Severe Storms, Ice
By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist
The Long-Range Team expects areas from northeastern Texas and Oklahoma into Kentucky and Tennessee to deal with more ice than snow events this winter, especially from early to mid-season.
Occasionally, icing could affect areas farther east into the western Carolinas and northern parts of Alabama and Georgia, especially in January.
The team also expects a significant risk for severe weather and flood events to develop over the lower Mississippi Valley in February. Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, which were devastated by tornadoes in the spring, will be extremely sensitive to any severe weather outbreaks.
As for temperatures, winter 2011-2012 is forecast to average out milder than last winter across the Southeast, especially for locations from Florida into southern Georgia and eastern South Carolina. However, there could be a period of cold weather in this region from mid-December into early January with an early frost or freeze.
Starting in late January, milder-than-normal conditions are expected to be more dominant.
Precipitation is forecast to average out below normal from Florida into parts of the Carolinas. A drier-than-normal winter could exacerbate the extreme drought that is gripping central and southern Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
Areas from the western Carolinas into northern parts of Georgia and Alabama will turn out wetter, according to Pastelok.