Storm Inga: Snow Causes Travel Chaos as Areas Declare State of Emergency

Winter Storm Inga is bringing snow and ice to the Southeast, causing travel chaos throughout the region. 

The severe drop in temperatures and potentially dangerous conditions have put parts of 23 states under winter weather alerts and forced officials in North Carolina and Alabama to declare a state of emergency.

Here's everything you need to know:

What's the forecast?

Snowfall is expected along the East Coast from New England to the Carolinas throughout Wednesday, Weather.com reported.

In the South, a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to cause dangerous travel conditions throughout the day as far south as southeastern Texas and the western Florida panhandle.

Parts of Austin, Houston and San Antonio metros have already seen several vehicle accidents due to weather conditions, according to Weather.com.

State Highway 225 in Deer Park, east of Houston, had to be closed Tuesday afternoon, while de-icing on other roadways caused delays during the evening commute.

Sleet drifts had topped a half-foot in portions of the Houston metro area by Tuesday evening.

Below average temperatures are expected from the northern Mid-Atlantic into the South, with a warm-up along the way from the north-central U.S. into the central plains, according to the National Weather Service.

A strong cold front moving east into the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast early this morning will bring accumulating snow across south-central Virginia into central North Carolina. The snowfall is expected to extend all the way to the coast.

National Weather Temperature Temperatures expected throughout the U.S. for Wednesday National Weather Service

Rain is expected early Thursday across coastal North Carolina, but it will likely turn to snow during the day and going into the evening.

Inland locations are expected to see as much as two to four inches of snow, with one to two inches expected to fall on coastal locations.

Winter weather alerts

Both Alabama and North Carolina have declared a state of emergency because of the cold weather.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said: "Nearly all of North Carolina will be impacted by this winter storm, and we're making sure North Carolina is ready," according to WCNC. He urged all residents to "be prepared and to stay safe."

The state is expected to see at least one to two inches of snow, covering nearly all of North Carolina.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said: "All Alabamians should take time to be prepared for the potential of winter weather. I have directed essential state agencies to be on the ready should they be needed over the next couple of days."

Read more: Storm Inga: Latest path and forecast as Southeast prepares for icy blast

Meanwhile, winter storm warnings have been put into effect in parts of southeastern Texas, central North Carolina, north-central South Carolina and southwestern West Virginia, Weather.com says.

Areas of New England, the Hudson Valley and the Poconos are also under winter storm warnings for the day.

Throughout the South and Northeast, winter weather advisories are also in effect, extending as far south as the western Florida panhandle and southern Texas.

What lies ahead?

Snowfall along coastal locations is expected to end by Thursday morning.

Across the western U.S., a return to a rain is expected to see out the rest of the week along the coast starting Thursday, with inland parts still seeing some snow.

forecast 24 hour 17 2018 A 24-hour forecast from the National Weather Service shows snowfall is expected across the Southeast. National Weather Service

As high pressure over the South makes its way east over the next two days, a significant warm-up is expected to wash over the middle of the nation, with high temperatures rising into the 30s and even low 40s for the Dakotas by Thursday.

Much of the nation is expected to see high temperatures forecast to be as much as 10 to 25 degrees above average, extending from the central/northern Plains into the western U.S., the National Weather Service said.

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