TODAY   |  February 12, 2014

Dangerous storm spreading across South

Snow, ice, and freezing rain is spreading across the South this morning, knocking out power, closing schools and canceling thousands of flights already. TODAY’s Al Roker reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> back home. a huge contrast to what we're experiencing here. it's full coverage. and we'll start with al. and this is pretty bad.

>> it's going to be historic in the devastation. as we look live right now, i-85, georgia, about an hour 50 minutes north of atlanta , six people so far have died on roads in texas and mississippi, thousands of flights canceled, 100 million people affected by this. and it is just going to get worse. it is just getting started. as we show you right now, from texas all the way to new england, we have winter storm watches and warnings. from atlanta to charleston, ice storm warnings. and as you move up the coast, we've got winter weather warnings and winter weather advisories. here's what's happening. why it's going to be a long track event and why we're going to be -- look at the intensity. you can see heavy thunderstorms, down through the gulf. to the north of that, the cold air is starting to filter in. you can see the pink and white, northeast winds funneling around that high pressure system . you've got the mountains of the appalachians trapping freezing air. so as that air gets trapped from atlanta all the way up into the northeast, we are going to be seeing a mix of precipitation. the rain will freeze. we get sleet, freezing rain , look at the ice accumulations we're talking about from atlanta into parts of south carolina . 1/2 inch, inch to almost 2 inches of ice as you go east to atlanta , augusta, i should say, south of columbia, 1/4 inch, widespread power outages, major airport delays. we're telling people to stay off the roads. then this system continues up the coast, becomes a classic nor'easter. that blue line , the freezing line where you see the difference between snow, rain and ice. so low pressure deepens off the coast. we're looking for heavy, wet snow inland, coastal winds of over 50 miles per hour. and look at these accumulation ranges. atlanta , 1 to 3 inches on top of what they've already got. and as you make your way up the coast up to 2 feet of snow in some of the mountains in the appalachians as you head on up into new york, new jersey and on into parts of new england, we're talking anywhere from 6 to 9 inches, 3 to 6 inches, as