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Around South, snow gives way to rain

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Most weather advisories canceled Monday except higher elevations in Alabama, Georgia
  • NEW: CNN meteorologist: "Snow that was in last night's forecast isn't going to happen"
  • Hundreds of Atlanta flights for Monday were canceled as system approached
  • Slick conditions in Kansas cause at least two massive pileups

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Early-morning commuters in much of the Deep South, braced for the possibility of a second round of snow and ice, had an easier-than-expected ride Monday as warmer temperatures kept winter weather at bay.

Most winter weather advisories and warnings were canceled early Monday except for portions of northern Alabama and Georgia at higher elevations. However, the advisories and warnings stretched into Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Forecasters had warned of an additional 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation in the South on Sunday night into Monday morning. The Deep South had up to 6 inches of snow in some areas Friday.

But "the accumulating snow that was in last night's forecast isn't going to happen," CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said Monday. "It is now too warm."

As of 5:30 a.m. ET, the temperature in Atlanta was 41 degrees, well above the freezing mark, and rain was falling. Forecasters initially had expected the rain to turn into snow after 1 a.m. Monday.

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Snow flurries are forecast later Monday as an Arctic front moves through, Morris said, but no accumulation was expected outside mountainous areas. The weather will be "not nearly as bad as what was forecast," CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano said.

Hundreds of flights were canceled out of Atlanta in anticipation of the newest round of winter weather.

Delta Air Lines said Sunday that it was canceling 400 flights from early morning through noon Monday, the majority in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia. AirTran Airways canceled 48 flights scheduled to depart or arrive in Atlanta between 8 and 10 a.m. Monday, and a spokesman said more cancellations were possible.

Beleaguered states in the mid-Atlantic region also may catch a break from the heavy snowfall initially predicted.

A snow emergency set to take effect Monday morning in Washington will not happen. The National Weather Service was forecasting a slight chance of snow before noon, then a mix of rain and snow, with an above-freezing high of 36 degrees.

The area already has shoveled itself out of a season record snowfall of 55.9 inches, according to preliminary National Weather Service estimates.

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Slick conditions in Kansas on Sunday caused at least two massive pileups, one of which involved as many as 30 vehicles. Video showed cars, vans and trucks sandwiched on a small bridge, with emergency workers climbing over vehicles to reach the injured. The extent of injuries was not immediately known. Portions of Interstates 70 and 35 were closed for hours, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Drivers involved in the I-70 pileup described poor visibility conditions to CNN affiliate KSHB in Kansas City, Missouri.

"It happened too fast," said motorist Sam Skramstad, who was driving home to Colorado. "It was just there and I headed for the guardrail and it didn't move. And then I just kept getting nailed from behind."

He said his wife went to the hospital with chest pains after the crash.

Friday's storm system crawled from Texas to the Atlantic Coast, starting before dawn Thursday and lasting until Saturday morning. During that period, 8.8 inches of snow fell on Harkers Island, North Carolina, according to weather service data.

Other notable snowfall totals include: 14.9 inches in Duncanville, Texas; 6 inches in Belleville, Alabama; 6.1 inches in Shreveport, Louisiana; 8 inches in DeKalb, Mississippi; and 7.3 inches in Columbia, South Carolina.

As of Friday, according to the National Weather Service, 68.1 percent of the United States was covered with snow, compared with 51.2 percent in January. Every state except Hawaii had some snow cover.

 
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