By Pam Ramsey Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Spring is just days away but winter is not leaving quietly.
Just as the trees started blooming and the birds started chirping, another round of snow and ice was bearing down Sunday on the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic. Snow was expected by Monday afternoon from the Central Appalachians to the Jersey Shore, making the morning commute treacherous for motorists.
Parts of eastern West Virginia, central and west-central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley could see up to 10 inches of snow. Smaller accumulations were expected in Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Parts of Southern Virginia and North Carolina braced for a slippery mix of rain, sleet and snow.
“Travel will be dangerous. It’s a late-season storm but we can’t let our guard down,” said Amy Bettwy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Sterling, Va.
A band of snow fell across Iowa on Saturday evening, following a warm and sunny day. The Des Moines area received about an inch of snow.
Rain and thunderstorms were expected in the Southeast, some of which could be strong.
In Alabama, authorities were investigating whether straight line winds or a tornado led to the collapse of a building in Atmore. A group of campers stranded during heavy rainfall in the Prattville area was rescued. No injuries were reported in either incident.
Five adults and seven children were camping on high ground near the Pine Creek when rain flooded the area surrounding them. They were rescued in about 15 minutes, Prattville Fire Department Capt. Mike Rogers told the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/1cNrFxL).
Winter’s return follows several days of spring-like temperatures. With spring officially starting Thursday, people weary of shoveling snow are hoping that the latest storm will be winter’s final encore.
Ricardo Contreras, an upholsterer from Harrisburg, Pa., said he was tired of the winter and had no plans to shovel whatever might fall overnight.
“I’ll just let it melt by itself,” Contreras said.
Engineer Bill Bingham, heading into the West Shore Plaza in Lemoyne, Pa., for Sunday breakfast, said he was most looking forward to playing some golf for the first time in many months.
“I really like the winter, but I’m done with the snow now,” Bingham said. “I’m ready for spring.”
Richard Windsor of Jackson, N.J., said he was not that impressed by the new storm system. Several previous storms this season dropped 10 or more inches of snow in the state.
“With the winter we’ve had, I’m not worried about an inch or two of snow,” Windsor said as he gassed up his sport utility vehicle on Sunday morning. “I figure if I made it through the stronger storms, I can handle this.”
Temperatures in many areas are expected to be in tune with spring by Thursday. But forecasters cannot say whether winter will finally end. Bettwy said snowstorms are typical through March.
Associated Press writers Grant Schulte in Des Moines, Iowa; Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa.; Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, N.J.; and Phillip Lucas in Atlanta, Ga., contributed to this report.