The South hunkers down for wintry mix of snow and ice

Snow, ice and bitter cold are hitting Southern states unaccustomed to such frosty conditions.

More than 100 million people are under winter storm warnings or advisories in states stretching from Texas to Maine, with snow — or a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain — expected, starting Tuesday morning in parts of the South, according to the National Weather Service.

The main swath of snow, generally 2 to 6 inches, is expected to drop from far northeast Texas and into parts of Arkansas, eastern Mississippi, western Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia, forecasters said.

Lower amounts can be expected north and south of that path — including a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain in parts of southeastern Texas and Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Georgia.

By late morning, 6 inches had already fallen in parts of eastern Arkansas and Kentucky, and about 2 to 4 inches in the Memphis, Tennessee, area, the National Weather Service said.

In Memphis, the NBA’s Grizzlies canceled practice, citing the weather there. Memphis-area resident Jeanne Suratt told CNN affiliate WATN ahead of the storm that she’d be staying put in her home.

“I’ve already been to the grocery store to try to get the necessary things that we will need for the next two or three days. We will not be out of the house,” Suratt said.

Some school systems closed Tuesday, including in St. Louis, where the main concern was below-zero wind chills, and Nashville, which faced several inches of snow as well as below-zero wind chills.

Also closed was the University of North Alabama, where a dusting of snow had collected by midmorning Tuesday. A junior there, Nick Saunders, told CNN he was “just excited to have a break from class for a day.”

“A pleasant surprise to wake up to,” he wrote with a video of the snow that he posted on Instagram.

On Monday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency in anticipation of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

“There are enough uncertainties in the forecast right now that the potential exists that this winter storm could be debilitating to the state for a couple of days due to icy conditions,” Brian Hastings, director of Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said in a statement.

Snow should fall late Tuesday into Wednesday in parts of the Northeast, including southern New York and Massachusetts, which could see up to 8 inches.

In addition to the snow, more than 40 million people are under wind chill alerts from the northern Plains, such as western Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota, down to portions of Texas and Louisiana. With the wind chill, temperatures could feel as low as minus 40 degrees in the more northern states.

Freezing rain, ice in Texas, Louisiana

Freezing rain was falling Tuesday morning in the San Antonio and Austin areas of Texas. A light glaze of ice and several car wrecks were reported in San Antonio, according to CNN affiliate KSAT.

Southern Texas and Louisiana could see ice accumulate up to a quarter-inch, according to CNN Weather.

On Tuesday night, Houston could be colder than New York, with temperatures as low as 25 degrees. A wintry mix of snow and rain was likely there, according to the National Weather Service

“The winter weather system sweeping across our state will bring low temperatures and freezing precipitation to many communities, which could create life-threatening situations,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “I urge all Texans to exercise extreme caution in these hazardous conditions.”