Columbia (WLTX) - A winter storm moved across the Southeast bringing snow for Christmas and the day after. It was the first white Christmas in Atlanta in over 120 years. There had never been a measurable snowfall recorded in Columbia for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after Christmas. Thus, it was historic not in amounts, but in timing.
The storm system had its beginnings in the Pacific Ocean. It was the same powerful storm system that brought record rains and snows to the Southwest. It weakened and traveled across the central Rockies and then dove southeast into the Gulf of Mexico. It began to spread snow over the Tennessee River Valley and into the southern Appalachians.
As the system moved across northern Florida into the Atlantic it began to turn northeast and intensify. This helped pull moisture from the Atlantic into the cold air in the East. The rain changed to snow and the snow totals mounted as the storm system raced up the East coast.
A survey of the snow reports in South Carolina indicate that some of the heavier snow totals were in the Upstate as well as from Newberry county to Marlboro county. Along the border with North Carolina the snow accumulations were generally 4 to 6 inches. Farther south 2 to 4 inches were common from Newberry to Kershaw to Marlboro counties. Generally 1 to 3 inches was observed across Lexington and Richland counties. Accumulations of 1 to 2 inches were obseved from parts of Aiken, Saluda, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Lee counties.
The snow became much heavier in eastern North Carolina were in the Raleigh area amounts were up to a foot of snow. Late in the afternoon that was common along the coastal areas from Delaware to New England.
Travel has become almost impossible in the heavy snow areas where snow has been falling at rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour. The travel delays are likely to last into Tuesday.
Snow was observed as far south as I-16 west of Savannah. A dusting of snow occurred in Charleston, SC. Many snow records for December were toppled by this storm system.