Deep South Set for Rare Winter Storm Amid U.S. Frigid Front

Jan 28, 2014 7:59 am ET

(Updates with Super Bowl weather forecast in third paragraph.

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A rare winter storm is forecast to bring heavy snow and icing to parts of the Deep South today as temperatures continue to drop across the U.S. behind an Arctic front sweeping the country.

The storm will extend from the central Gulf Coast to the southern Mid-Atlantic coast today, the National Weather Service said in a bulletin at 3:16 a.m. New York time. A wintry mix is possible as far as southern Louisiana.

The Super Bowl game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will experience partly cloudy weather with a high temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) at the MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2, according to Weather Service forecast.

“Significant icing appears quite probable across portions of southern Georgia into coastal South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina,” the weather service said. “A swath of light to moderate snows is likely further to the north and west, with heavy snows possible across northeastern North Carolina into the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.”

Precipitation is expected to “slide off” of the coast tomorrow, while the Florida peninsula will see “some lingering showers,” according to the bulletin.

January is on track to be the coldest month of the 21st century in the contiguous U.S. in terms of gas-weighted heating degree days, after waves of freezing air swept across the country. Normal weather will return to the East Coast in early February, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Flight Cancellations

As of 7:51 a.m. New York time, 2,710 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. had been canceled. O’Hare International in Chicago grounded about 20 percent of its flights, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based tracking service.

The freeze sent front-month natural gas futures to the highest price in almost four years yesterday before they slid amid forecasts for a return of normal weather.

Gas for February delivery rose 4.7 percent to $5.075 per million British thermal units as of 7:53 a.m. in New York today. The contract dropped 6.5 percent yesterday after touching $5.442 per million British thermal units, the highest front-month price since Feb. 16, 2010. Futures are up about 20 percent this month.

Average or higher-than-usual temperatures are forecast to extend from Florida to Maine from Feb. 1 through Feb. 10 after the frigid weather this week, according to Commodity Weather Group.

--Editors: Stephen Voss, Alaric Nightingale