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Heavy rain and snow for the Northeast Christmas Day

Eastern Winter Alerts

Heavy snow and gusty winds moved in across the Northeast and even Southeast Christmas Eve Thursday into Christmas morning. Over one foot of snow has been reported in Northern Ohio along with over 9 inches in Kentucky and up to 6 inches in Tennessee. The snow wrapping around the low will gradually move east, away from the Ohio River Valley, on Friday as lake effect snow continues, potentially into Sunday for some areas.

Winter storm warnings remain in effect around Lake Erie to the south for heavy snow into Friday afternoon. Alerts around Lake Michigan and around the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario will remain in effect for the lake effect snow potential into Saturday or Sunday.

The Lake Effect snow is expected to be heavy across Western New York. Over 20 inches could accumulate in areas like Watertown and Buffalo through Sunday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue Lake Effect Snow Warnings for those locations.


Heavy rain will be ongoing Friday across New England. The cold air doesn’t catch up with the moisture and cold front until late Friday. This will allow for the strong wind to bring in a hefty amount of rainfall to New England on Christmas Day. Speaking of, some of the wind will be very strong with power outages and gusts to 65 miles per hour!


Due to warm temperatures in the 50s across much of the Northeast Friday, anywhere heavy rain falls will create the potential for flooding. Not only will heavy rain be falling ahead of the front but massive snowmelt will be ongoing with snow leftover from last week’s historic Nor’easter. Flash flood warnings were issued Thursday afternoon around Southern New York and Northern Pennsylvania, including the Binghamton area which saw record rainfall combine with melting snowpack.

The map below shows forecast accumulations from Friday morning through the end of the weekend. The heaviest rain on Christmas Day into Saturday is likely across New England from Long Island through Northern Maine.

The low keeps tracking to the northeast while the moisture gets pushed along the cold front. The low pressure is slow to move out which means rain will be ongoing ahead of the front for parts of New England and snow on the back side of the low will be slow to move out as well.

The wrap around, strong northwesterly wind across the Great Lakes also starts to pick up on the tail end of the winter storm event. Lake enhanced snow for Michigan, western New York and northeast Ohio is likely.

Additional snow accumulations (in addition to what fell Thursday night into Friday) could top more than 6 inches still, mainly in the higher elevations and on the eastern shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Great Lakes Winter Alerts

Lake-effect snow will be possible into New York from through Saturday.  Accumulation totals could exceed several inches in some areas.

Lake effect snow chances are expected to continue into the day Saturday. This means the lake fronts and snowbelts could see additional snow well after the winter storm moves away.

This accumulation map shows the total forecast rain and snow for the entire event. Stay with us for additional updates!

About the author
Kara has always been passionate about weather and knew from an early age that she wanted to become a meteorologist. Living in different regions of the country and experiencing weather events ranging from ice storms to tornadoes drove her to pursue a bachelor's degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Throughout college, storm chasing became a regular event for Kara, where she saw fir... Load Morest-hand the power of the atmosphere. Kara graduated cum laude from OU and decided to further her meteorology education with a Master's degree from Mississippi State University. The deadly April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak struck while Kara was studying at MSU; her first “Dixie Alley” tornado event and an up close glimpse into the destruction of the storms she so closely studied. Her broadcast career began in Elvis’ birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, where she earned her Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. Kara's career has included coverage of all types of severe weather including tornado events, flooding and tropical systems across multiple southern states. Recently she helped cover the 2020 Easter Sunday deadly tornado outbreak in southeast Mississippi. In her free time, you can find Kara outdoors exploring new areas with her mini poodle,Truffles. Kara is also an avid runner and frequently races in 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. Say hi to Kara on Twitter and Facebook!