Rain, Ice Plague East; Dangerous Cold Grips N. Plains
UPDATED 2:45 PM EST, December 23, 2013
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill
A spring-like storm is finally relinquishing its grip on the East but not before leaving behind a few more downpours and a bit more freezing rain on the northern fringe. In the storm`s wake, dangerous cold is bleeding through the Northern Plains. If the cold wasn't enough, a fresh low pressure will bring snow and ice problems to the Northern Tier just in time for Christmas Day.
Flood Watches continue in northern Georgia, including the greater Atlanta metro with scattered Flood Warnings from the Mid-South into New York where the rain has ended but flooding continues.
Rain continues to edge closer to the Atlantic Coast, with the heaviest additional downpours expected in eastern North Carolina. Here, another inch will fall before the day is finished.
The damage has already been done from this latest weather system. Two to almost 8 inches of rain have pelted the East since Friday. Excel, Ala., leads the way with 7.60 inches of rain, Paducah, Ky., has 5.37 inches while Atlanta has seen 3.20 inches.
Rain is pelting the Florida Panhandle to southeastern New England this afternoon with freezing rain causing more slippery travel in northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Ice amounts have reached 1 inch in many spots, including Cherryfield and Wesley, Maine, and Jefferson, Vt., with 5 to 10 inches of snow coating other parts of Maine like Knowles Corner and Presque Isle.
Freezing Rain and Winter Weather Advisories and Ice Storm Warnings continue from northern Massachusetts into northern Maine. Concord, N.H., and Augusta and Bangor, Maine, are included.
The same cold front that brought rain to the East on Sunday has become stationary along the coast today with a final low pressure wave riding along the boundary. This has resulted in yet another day of downpours in locations that have already tallied several inches of rain. The front will budge into the Atlantic tonight, with dry weather arriving for Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile, the air is cold enough in the cold front's wake across the Northern Plains to produce dangerous wind chills of minus-20 degrees to minus-40 degrees this afternoon. Wind Chill Warnings and Wind Chill Advisories are in effect from North Dakota into western Illinois, northern Missouri and northeastern Kansas.
Temperatures will quickly rebound in the Northern Plains and Midwest Tuesday as southerly winds commence ahead of a weak weather disturbance. The low pressure will bring light snow on Christmas Eve into early Christmas Day to the Dakotas, Upper Mississippi Valley, Midwest and Great Lakes. Bismarck, N.D., Minneapolis and even Chicago could see 1 to 3 inches of fresh snow.
Winter Weather Advisories are in effect tonight through Tuesday for the Idaho Panhandle, parts of Montana into the Dakotas. Snow and a bit of sleet will create a few problems on Interstates 90 and 94 through Christmas Eve before sliding into the Great Lakes by Christmas morning.
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