Governors across the South declared states of emergency and temperatures plunged below zero in parts of the Northeast as a strong winter storm that was expected to bring snow and freezing rain began surging through those regions Saturday night.
More than a quarter-inch of ice was expected in the Piedmont regions of North and South Carolina on Saturday night. The storm system was expected to bring more than a foot of snow to the Appalachians and through upstate New York and southern and central Vermont beginning on Sunday.
Snow was also predicted for parts of the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys, according to the National Weather Service Prediction Center, the next phase of a large storm system that brought more than 12 inches of snow to parts of Iowa and North Dakota.
Up to a foot of snow was expected to blanket the mountains of Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, as well North Carolina, West Virginia, eastern Ohio and western New York, said Ben Gelber, a meteorologist at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s going to be a 100-mile-wide swath of six to 12 inches of snow,” he said on Saturday. “More people will be impacted by this storm than any winter storm we’ve had this season.”
The snow was expected to be heaviest in the areas west of the Interstate 95 corridor, Mr. Gelber said. Boston, Philadelphia and New York City are expected to get one to four inches of snow before the precipitation turns into heavy rain Sunday night into Monday, he said.
The wintry mix could also deepen supply-chain problems in the affected regions.
“This is going to be a major setback for several days for companies trying to move products around the country just due to the scale of the storm,” Jonathan Porter, the chief meteorologist for AccuWeather, which is based in State College, Pa., said on Friday.
On Friday, Gov. Ralph S. Northam of Virginia, Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina all declared states of emergency.
“This upcoming weather system is likely to include additional downed trees, more electrical outages and significant impacts on travel conditions,” Mr. Northam said in his declaration. Virginia transportation officials were caught off guard early this month when a storm stranded hundreds of drivers.
Mr. Northam warned that the storm could produce wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour along the coast.
The Virginia Department of Transportation was not taking any chances, and on Thursday its crews began spraying portions of I-95 with a solution of salt and brine, which helps prevent ice from bonding to roadways.
Elsewhere in the South, meteorologists said, northeastern Georgia and the Carolinas were expected to bear the brunt of freezing precipitation on Saturday night into Sunday.
“While much is going to be said about the snow, we’re also raising the alarm of the ice storm that’s going to occur across the Carolinas,” Mr. Porter said. “It looks like that’s a recipe for extended power outages and tree damage in those areas.”
In Saranac Lake, N.Y., the temperature had fallen to 12 below zero by Saturday morning and was expected to drop to minus 20 by nightfall, with wind chills as low as minus 31. That kind of cold is not unusual in the region, said Clyde Rabideau, the mayor of Saranac Lake, a town of about 5,400 people in the Adirondacks.
Up to a foot of snow was expected to fall in the area starting on Sunday — welcome news for residents and ice fishermen who have seen snow accumulations fall and winter temperatures rise in recent years, Mr. Rabideau said.
“We used to have a week of 30 below; now it’s a week of 20 below,” he said. “It is warming here. Only thing is, it’s hard to tell the difference between 30 below and 20 below, unless the wind is blowing.”
Parts of the Carolinas, including Charlotte and Greensboro in North Carolina, were expected to see “the most damaging icing,” according to the National Weather Prediction Center.
“This will result in dangerous travel, power outages and tree damage,” the center said.
Southwest Airlines warned travelers passing through airports across the South that flights could be delayed, diverted or canceled. American Airlines and Delta made similar announcements related to the weather.
Nashville was expected to get four to five inches of snow starting on Saturday, with higher snowfall amounts north of the city in what has already been a snowy winter, meteorologists said.
“Nashville may have more snow this winter than both Milwaukee and Chicago,” Mr. Porter said. “That’s pretty impressive.”