Mostly cloudy skies and cold temperatures will be found across the area today. Icy conditions will continue through the morning hours on area roads and bridges. Some melting is expected this afternoon, but icy conditions will redevelop by this evening.
The storm that dumped sleet and ice over the New Orleans region and much of the state has passed out into the Gulf of Mexico, prompting the National Weather Service's New Orleans office to cancel the Winter Storm Warning and replace it with a Hard Freeze Warning.
South Louisiana doesn't see snow very often, so when a winter storm arrives people don't spend all their time stocking up on essentials. This is Louisiana, after all, and many take advantage of the rare opportunity to enjoy the winter weather.
There wasn't much to work with, however, despite systems that swept through the state twice this week, dumping a wintry mix of snow, sleet and ice on cities from Lafayette to Ruston to coastal Mississippi.
South Louisiana has slowly ground to a halt as a winter storm dumps snow, sleet and freezing rain from Lafayette through coastal Mississippi.
The National Weather Service says moderate to heavy sleet continues across most of the region, and a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for metro New Orleans. The NWS says the Winter Storm Warning is expected to last until Wednesday morning, and will likely be replaced by a Hard Freeze Warning once precipitation finally ceases.
The Deep South is in a deep freeze. Snow, sleet and freezing rain have gripped a region more accustomed to sun and surf. As a result, roads are a mess and from South Louisiana to the Carolina coast, classes are cancelled, airplanes are grounded, and businesses and government offices are closed.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: In Birmingham, Alabama today, just getting around town is practically impossible.
Entergy, the predominant utility company serving much of Southeast Louisiana, including the City of New Orleans, says its subsidiary companies have marshaled over 2,100 workers in advance of a winter storm system expected to hammer the region between Monday night and Wednesday morning.
The entire region is currently under a Winter Storm Warning, and the National Weather Service is forecasting 1–2 inches of snow and 1/4 to 1/2-inch of ice in the New Orleans metro area. Areas south of Lake Pontchartrain will see less snow and more ice accumulation as a result of the storm system.
The whole region might be encased in ice this week, but there's still time to get to your favorite local bookstore and stock up before the temperature drops and the roads close.
Here are some snow day reading choices perfect for curling up with in front of a roaring fire (or a space heater!).
— Finish up Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series with The Days of Anna Madrigal and pretend you’re in San Francisco, where there is no snow, only an ever-charming and beloved cast of characters.