All Weather News

Christmas Day Severe Threat?

21 Dec 2016, 5:15 pm

Christmas Day might be unusually mild for many, but that could also lead to the possibility for severe storms during the holiday weekend as well.

A strong storm system forming in the lee of the Rocky Mountains will help draw up unseasonably warm air out of the Gulf of Mexico out ahead of it, and coupled with cold air behind the low, set up the conditions for possible severe weather on Christmas Sunday across the central and southern Plains.

Along a quick-moving cold front, storms are expected to fire along the front from roughly Salina, Kansas south to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and move east. As the storms develop, the main threat is expected to be damaging straight-line winds, with a few tornadoes possible as well.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) highlighted an area of possible concern for Sunday, primarily for central and eastern Oklahoma. Parts of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas are also included in the risk zone, which will likely be updated as the event approaches. The SPC noted the primary concern of damaging winds with these storms, but tornadoes cannot be ruled out with some of the stronger storms on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Severe storms on or around Christmas Day aren’t uncommon, unfortunately. Last December 26th, an EF-4 tornado tore through Dallas’ eastern suburbs, killing 13 and leveling dozens of homes and businesses. Another tornado, an EF-2, ripped through Birmingham, Alabama last Christmas Day, damaging at least 72 homes as it did so.

Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this as we get closer to the event.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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