SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Snow flurries fell Wednesday as far south as Tallahassee, Florida, where officials were forced to close a section of Interstate 10 due to icy conditions.
The National Weather Service predicted snow flurries across a swath of northern Florida, from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, on Wednesday morning. Accumulations were not expected.
On its Twitter account, The Tallahassee Police Department warned drivers that ice could form on bridges early Wednesday.
RARE SIGHT: it's snowing in Tallahassee FL for the 1st time in 28 years. @NWSTallahassee measured 0.1" of snow/sleet on their roof @floridastate at 8:30 AM. Video via 904 Happy Hour. #snow#flwx#frozenAmericapic.twitter.com/dG5uMrTcpM
— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) January 3, 2018
The weather service in Tallahassee tweeted that there's 0.1 inch (0.25 centimeter) of snow on the roof of the building.
Schools in at least five districts canceled classes on Wednesday as well. In Tallahassee, students were supposed to return from winter break, but got another day thanks to the weather. Also in the Orlando area, theme parks closed water attractions due to cold weather.
Law enforcement agencies reported freezing rain and ice on bridges in south Georgia as a winter storm revs up along the East Coast.
Police in the south Georgia city of Brunswick reported on their official Twitter account Wednesday morning that some area bridges had begun to ice up. Brunswick police added that there have already been crashes and they are advising motorists to stay off the roads.
The winter storm is threatening to dump snow and ice on parts of the U.S. South that rarely see frozen flurries, much less accumulation.
The National Weather Service said a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain was expected Wednesday mostly along the Southeast's Atlantic coast. Up to an inch (2.5 centimeters) of snow could fall in Tallahassee, Florida, while 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) are possible in parts of North Carolina.
Weather warnings forced some school districts in Florida's northern counties to close just as students were set to return after a winter break. A massive front is bringing some of the coldest temperatures in years to parts of Florida.
In central Florida, the state's largest theme parks announced that water attractions such as Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay and SeaWorld's Aquatica were closed Wednesday because of the cold snap.
The temperature early Wednesday in Orlando was 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) and it was raining.
The mayor of Jacksonville in north Florida closed city offices to all but essential personnel on Wednesday, advising people to stay off the roads. In Tallahassee, school officials announced that classes would remain closed Wednesday.
It’s snowing in Tallahassee! As exciting as this is, please use extreme caution if you are driving & don’t expose yourself to the cold for too long without proper gear. #SunshineState#SnowDay#WinterIsHerepic.twitter.com/QVnnCTWQ5E
— Tallahassee Police (@TallyPD) January 3, 2018
The North Carolina Zoo is offering half-priced admission while a bitter cold wave sweeps the South, giving visitors a chance to see polar bears frolic in their kind of weather.
Zoo visitors, however, shouldn't expect to see any lions, elephants or gorillas native to Africa on view. With the mercury dipping below freezing, animals more suited to warmer climes will remain in their behind-the-scenes quarters.
Local news outlets report the zoo in Asheboro is offering the special discount rates through Saturday.
Besides polar bears, Arctic foxes, elk and other cold-tolerant animals will be on display. And for humans wary of venturing outdoors in dangerously low temperatures, the zoo is promising heated habitat complexes and transportation to stay warm.
— City of Tallahassee (@COTNews) January 3, 2018
Brutal winter weather that's brought subzero temperatures to parts of the U.S. is threatening to dump snow and ice across areas of the South that rarely see flurries, much less accumulation.
The National Weather Service said a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain was expected Wednesday mainly along the Atlantic seaboard from Florida to North Carolina. It warned that icy roads and low visibility could make driving treacherous across the region.
In Savannah, a coastal city that hasn't seen measurable snowfall since February 2010, up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow and sleet were forecast. As city officials filled dump trucks with sand to spread on major streets, Mayor Eddie DeLoach urged residents to stay home and keep off the roads.
Associated Press reporters Tammy Webber in Indianapolis, Jeff Martin in Atlanta, Freida Frisaro in Miami and Gary Fineout in Tallahassee contributed to this story.