Winter Ice Storm
December 12, 2002
Winter arrived with fury in the South on the 4th of December. The classic “Wintry Mix” beset much of North Carolina as the freeze line stretched across the state. A mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain turned into one of the worst disasters ever for North Carolina electrical power consumers. As freezing rain coated power transmission lines and tree branches hanging above (pictured at top), lines snapped, leaving over 1.6 million consumers without electrical power. Utility crews from 13 states and the National Guard came to assist areas that were without power for as much as one week.
The large scale aftermath of the storm is visible in the NOAA/GOES 8 weather satellite image. Taken on a remarkably clear day across the central and eastern US, (12/06/2002) this visible light image shows the band of snow cover (not clouds) stretching from Oklahoma through the Ohio River Valley down to North Carolina and up through New England. The smaller inset image is an AccuWeather snow cover graphic from the same time.