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Christmas Weather Outlook

UPDATED 10:20 AM EST, December 25, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Christmas has dawned with a gamut of wild weather, ranging from heavy snow to severe weather. As a matter of fact, two different storms will bring everything from heavy snow to tornadoes across parts of the U.S.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Todd Nelson has the latest in his exclusive WeatherBug National Outlook.

A new and rapidly intensifying storm system will charge into the Lower Mississippi Valley this evening. Rain and a wintry mix will change to snow and northeast winds will whip the flakes about for residents across the southern Plains. Several inches of snow will blanket the ground in places like Tulsa, Okla., and Oklahoma City.

Further south in the low`s warm-side, a powerful punch of potentially damaging thunderstorms will roll across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Deep South this afternoon, extending into the Southeast during tonight. A few strong, long-lived tornadoes will accompany the most intense thunderstorms, while wind gusts up to 80 mph and large hail will also be possible from south-central Louisiana into southwestern Alabama.

Additional downpours and strong thunderstorms will get going as far northeast as Georgia and along the Florida Panhandle for Christmas night. The biggest threat will be damaging wind gusts and large hail, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

Not to be outdone, a fresh storm system will impinge on the Pacific Northwest and West Coast. Heavy mountain snow will fall for the Cascades and Olympics, while moving into the northern California mountains and Sierra Nevada late this afternoon and tonight. Travel will be difficult for those making a trip to relatives along Interstates 5, 90, and 84, with up to a foot of fresh snow falling.

Those lucky enough to joy a quiet Christmas Day full of sunshine including the Southwest, Rocky Front Range chain, and from the Upper Midwest into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Of course, Santa will leave behind a touch of accumulating snow for little boys` and girls` opening Christmas presents early this morning in southern New England.

Frigid temperatures in the single digits and teens will spill as far south as the central Plains, with 20s and 30s covering a large chunk of the U.S. from the interior Northwest to the southern Plains and into New England. Those looking for milder temperatures will need to head the U.S. Southern-Tier, where 50s, 60s and 70s will be the rule. Even a few very low 80s will pop-up across south Texas and south Florida.

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