Major Multi-State Snowstorm Commences Christmas Day
State College, Pa. — 22 December 2012 — AccuWeather reports all the ingredients are coming together for a major snowstorm to unfold Christmas Day and spread from the southern Plains to the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast.
Far more potent than the snow event headed to the Northeast Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this storm will unload windswept and burying snow on its northwestern flank.
While snow will push through the Rockies–including Denver–Christmas Eve, the worst of the snowstorm will take shape Christmas Day across the southern Plains.
Snow will intensify Tuesday as it spreads from the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas to the Red River and western Arkansas. The major snowstorm will then press northeastward Tuesday night into Thursday, passing from Arkansas into the Ohio Valley, then the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast.
Some snow could even press as far south as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Tuesday and northern Louisiana Tuesday night.
Residents and visitors of the central Great Lakes should not let their guard down as a slight westward shift in the expected storm track would cause the significant snow zone to also shift.
The storm has the potential to unleash more than a half of foot of snow starting Tuesday night in Arkansas. Totals may even top a foot, especially farther north across the eastern Great Lakes and interior Northeast.
While great news for children and those wishing their communities to turn into a winter wonderland around Christmas, the snowstorm is sure to create a nightmare for travelers.
Several inches of snow will alone make driving treacherous. Winds severely blowing and drifting the snow around will only worsen the situation by dramatically reducing visibility and further clogging roads.
Airline passengers in the path of the snowstorm should prepare for lengthy delays and cancellations.
Where the snow is preceded by rain, a greater danger lurks for motorists as rapidly falling temperatures will also cause any wet spots to turn icy.
There is also concern, greatest along the I-81 corridor of Virginia and the I-95 corridor of the Northeast, for an icy mix of weather to accompany the storm Wednesday into Wednesday night as it moves through the East.
Other areas east of the storm’s track will be faced with a windswept and soaking rain with an outbreak of severe weather–including tornadoes–erupting in the South.
Holiday travelers may want to consider altering their plans to avoid driving during hazardous conditions and flight delays and cancellations, which windswept rain can even cause.
By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com