ENVIRONMENT
01/02/2018 01:39 pm ET

Deep-Freeze Forecast Threatens South With Beach Snow

Icy weather grips much of the U.S., including parts of Florida unaccustomed to wintery conditions.

The forecast calls for up to three inches of snow, a winter storm watch, and a wind chill in the neighborhood of 9 degrees.

Welcome to ― Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

As a mass of frigid air settles across much of the central and eastern U.S., residents farther south, unaccustomed to such wintry weather, are dealing with the unwelcome holiday guest as well.

In South Carolina, that means likely snow on the beaches late Tuesday night and early Wednesday: 

Should the forecast hold, it will be the first time Myrtle Beach has seen at least three inches of snow since 2010

Even regions as far south as Jacksonville, Florida, could see snow on Wednesday.

Farther west, residents in Dallas aren’t expected to see a temperature above freezing until midweek. Tuesday morning’s lows in the city were in the upper teens, with the day’s high projected to be 32 degrees. 

Cold has settled across much of the country, with 90 percent of the U.S. failing to top 32 degrees on New Year’s Day, CNN notes.

Aided by what Louisiana forecasters are calling a “nor’easter-type system,” New Orleans approached record lows Tuesday, tying a 1984 record for 25 degrees at the Louis Armstrong International Airport. New Orleans’ historical averages for the month are a low of 47 degrees, and a high of 62.

A pedestrian walks along the Chicago River on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Kamil Krzaczynski via Getty Images
A pedestrian walks along the Chicago River on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

The cold is taking a toll beyond just frozen pipes, slick roads and dead car batteries. Authorities blame at least nine deaths on the cold, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

In Atlanta, where overnight lows will be in the teens all week, homeless advocates worry residents who sleep on the street could be caught off guard.

“A lot of people are ready for the night, but occasionally we bump into people who are totally unprepared,” Drew Benton, an organizer for a group called Project Live Love that helps distribute warm clothing, told the AP. He noted that dry socks are critical and often overlooked, as frozen, wet feet can land someone in a heap of trouble.

We’ve seen people in a T-shirt and jeans walking around,” Benton added. “We’ve seen children out there before — we’ve seen a lot of circumstances where people are just totally unprepared.” 

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