All Weather News

Possible Storm Next Week, Could Impact Travel And Your Christmas Plans

17 Dec 2014, 12:14 pm

After a strong coastal storm disrupted Thanksgiving travel along the East Coast, one the busiest travel times of the year, many are wondering if there will be a repeat for the week of Christmas.

Here’s the short answer: As we fast approach ‘the most wonderful time of year’ the models are hinting at a storm might make your travel plans not-so-wonderful, in some parts of the country.

With millions of people traveling by road and by air, this could spell some pretty significant delays on the trek to grandmother’s house.

Before delving into Christmas week’s forecast, let’s caveat it with this: We’re looking toward the maximum extent of the model’s range of accuracy and the forecast is subject to significant changes in the coming days. WeatherNation will bring you the latest information on the forecast — or any travel headaches — as news information comes into the newsroom.

Monday, Dec. 22


Monday morning, unsettled weather is likely to be affecting parts of the Intermountain West, Upper Midwest, parts of the Deep South and Florida. A weak cold front will lend itself to on-going shower activity for much of the Deep South, into central sections of North Carolina. Those showers will transition south and east throughout the day. Some shower activity is possible later in the day, from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, as the low begins to pull up the East Coast.

Further north, in the Upper Midwest, an upper-level low will be pushing through Minnesota will filter in much colder air and the chance for light-to-moderate snow in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport, a major hub in the region, could be dealing with that snow and low ceilings throughout the day. As the day progresses, the cold air and wintry precipitation will push further south, potentially affecting Chicago and Milwaukee later in the evening.

Mountain snow and valley rain will will be possible in the higher elevations of the Intermountain West, all day long.

Tuesday, Dec. 23


As the cold front digs further south and very cold air fills in across the Plains, wrap-around moisture could help squeeze out some light snow showers across much of the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region.

Further south, from the Akrlatex to the Central Ohio River Valley, rain and even a few embedded thunderstorms could be affecting cities like Little Rock, Memphis, Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati. By the afternoon hours, the rain will push across the Mid-South, Tennessee Valley and into the Deep South.

As the trough starts to become more negatively tilted and interacts with a warmer, less stable airmass, thunderstorms could fire in parts of Alabama, Georgia and East Tennessee. The heavy rain could cause issues along the I-20, I-65, I-75 and I-85 corridors. Atlanta’s airport could also feel the effects as well.

As the colder air filters in, some parts of central Tennessee and northern Alabama could see a brief change-over to snow late Tuesday evening.

Rain will also be affecting parts of the Ohio River Valley and as cold air filters in, a transition to snow is possible.

Wednesday, Dec. 24


So, this is where things get interesting. As the storm pushes through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, it becomes more intense and more negatively tilted — drawing in very cold air from the north and moisture from the east.

This could mean a rapid transition from rain to snow for places like Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. Given the length of time between now and then. WeatherNation meteorologists remain cautiously skeptical of model depictions, at this time. That said, model agreement — amongst the GFS, Euro and DGEX — is relatively high, for the event being more than five days out.

There remains much time for the models to change in the coming days and WeatherNation meteorologists will be scrutinizing every scrap of data, bringing you updates with the latest forecast analysis.

Thursday, Dec. 25


By Christmas Day, the system will be pulling out of the region, but it will be leaving very cold air and lingering snow for the northern tier of the country. Lake effect snow is indicated for much of the Great Lakes region and parts of northern Maine. A new system in the West, could bring snow to Intermountain West.

Again, much uncertainty remains and we’ll be updating this forecast often.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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