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White Christmas Comes Early to Southern States

Texas SnowTexas Snow
Houston Fire Department firefighter Phuoc Ngo, left, and his wife Christine Co build a snowman in Spring, Texas on Dec. 8, 2017.J. Phillip—AP/REX/Shutterstock

Forecasters say the Southeast could face winter weather conditions this weekend, with wet snow or sleet affecting the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama. And if you’re a Southerner, that means just one thing: It’s time to raid the local grocery store.

Staples like milk, eggs, and bread are typically the first to go (because what goes better with a winter storm than French toast?), but the panic should be short lived this time.

The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for areas from Louisiana to Georgia, including Baton Rouge, La.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Birmingham, Ala. Atlanta is expected to get up to an inch of snow, while the Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina could get up to three inches.

Southern and coastal Texas are already seeing snowfalls, with Corpus Christi seeing thundersnow (which, despite the name, is not a Nordic heavy metal band, but rather snowstorms so heavy that thunder can be heard). And the Weather Channel says the storm, named Winter Storm Benji, will leave a 2,000 mile-long swath of snow across the country.

The real headaches will be traffic related, say forecasters. Black ice could form on roads as snow melts, making Saturday morning more dangerous in some areas.

But the snow’s not expected to stick around for a long time. While there are scattered school closings today, winter break isn’t starting early for anyone. High temperatures and sunny conditions on Saturday are expected to top the freezing mark, which should dry the roads in most affected areas by midday. Just about the time folks finish cleaning up from making that French toast.