Rainstorm to bring wet Christmas to Eastern USA – USA TODAY

A storm developing in the Southeast and heading up the east coast is expected to hit just in time for Christmas. Be sure to have a backup plan if you’re traveling this holiday season. VPC

A mix of drenching rain, severe thunderstorms and howling winds will bring a wet Christmas to much of the East, while snow and rain hits the Northwest and Rockies.

The rain and mild air over the central and Eastern USA the next few days will dash any hopes of a white Christmas for most of the nation. Only 26% of the USA was snow-covered Monday, the lowest percentage for this date in 10 years, the National Weather Service said.

Tuesday: A few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible from the southern parts of the lower Mississippi valley through the Gulf Coast states, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes could hit New Orleans; Baton Rouge; Montgomery, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.; and Tallahassee, the storm center said.

As much as a half-foot of rain could swamp portions of the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather service said. Flash flooding is possible in the Tallahassee area.

“The bull’s-eye for the heavy rain and flooding potential is over Tallahassee and the Big Bend (of Florida),” said Kati Moore, a weather service meteorologist.

Wednesday (Christmas Eve): Rain, thunderstorms and wind will envelop much of the East Coast, including the Interstate 95 corridor, the Weather Channel said. Despite the rain, record high temperatures in the 50s and 60s are possible from Boston to Washington.

Major flight delays are likely Wednesday at the Northeast city hubs, along with Charlotte, Atlanta and Florida’s main airports because of high winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms and low clouds, the Weather Channel said. Wind, rain and thunderstorms could cause delays as far west as Cincinnati and Detroit.

Snow will be a travel issue across Michigan, Illinois, eastern Missouri and northwestern Indiana, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. Though a huge amount of snow is not in the forecast, snow showers or bursts of snow could create slippery highway conditions, he said.

The strongest winds are likely in New England late Wednesday, when gusts could reach 50 mph along the coast and in the mountains, Sosnowski said. New York City could get gusts near 40 mph Wednesday night.

In the Northwest, mountain snow and valley rain will fall in far Northern California and the northern Rockies, the Weather Channel reported.


Dreaming of a white Christmas? Head north

Thursday (Christmas Day): Howling winds will be the main issue for much of the Great Lakes and Northeast, though a few snow flurries are possible across the area.

In the West, the storm that hit the Northwest on Wednesday will move into the Rockies on Christmas Day. bringing snow to Salt Lake City and Denver, according to the Weather Channel.

Contributing: The Tallahassee Democrat

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