Christmas Travel Trouble Will Mount For Plains, Deep South
UPDATED 5:30 AM EST, December 25, 2012
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen
Travel headaches will be felt far-and-wide across the southern Plains, Deep South, Southeast, and across the Pacific Northwest for Christmas Day. Even southern New England will experience a bit of tricky travel early today.
Low pressure rapidly strengthening in the Deep South will trigger potentially destructive thunderstorms from southeastern Texas all the way to Georgia for Christmas Day. Interstates 10, 20, 49, 55, 59, 65, and 75 will be susceptible to downpours and thunderstorms carrying a punch of large hail, destructive winds and even a few strong, long-lived tornadoes this afternoon and evening.
Those on the northern and western fringes of this same weather maker will see a rare White Christmas. Oklahoma, extreme northern Texas, and northwestern Arkansas will all be in line to see several inches of new snow, with as much as a foot possibly blanketing the ground for a few across the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley.
Adding in gusty winds whipping the snowflakes about as they fall, and travel will be nearly impossible along large stretches of Interstates 20, 30, 35, and 40. Gusts topping 45 mph will create near white-out conditions, significantly lowering visibility and accumulating huge snow drifts.
A new storm will bring heavy rain and mountain snow to the Northwest. Gusty Southwest winds will also pose problems for travelers along Interstates 5, 84 and 90.
The final weather trouble spot will be across southern and central New England, where a weak system departing into the Atlantic Ocean will leave behind a fresh coat of snow early this morning. Up to a few inches of snow could slow travel along Interstates 84, 90, 93, 195 and 495.
The rest of the U.S. will be weather-free and filled with a deep-blue sky, including the Desert Southwest, Rocky Front Range chain, and the Upper Midwest into the Mid-Atlantic and interior Northeast.
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