Wild Christmas Weather
By Steve Strouss
A large storm is sweeping across the country this Christmas Day with Snow, Ice & Heavy Rain. The storm has also spawned a few tornadoes and brought severe weather to parts of the Southeast US. Over a dozen states have already been effected by this massive system and Winter Storm Warnings are now out from Oklahoma all the way to Maine.
Blizzard Warnings remain in effect for parts of Arkansas and Missouri this evening where over a foot of the white stuff is forecasted. Meanwhile travel will be difficult if not impossible as several interstates and airports have already been impacted across the central plains and Midwest. Tornadoes have touched
down in parts of Mississippi & Alabama and damage there is expected to be in the hundreds of thousands.
Closer to home, a Flood Watch has been issued for Philadelphia and surrounding counties Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. As much as 2″ of rain can fall and that could lead to some flooding on area roadways, creeks and streams. Rain will be heavy at times Wednesday night before tapering off during the pre-dawn hours. The wind will also be a concern as gusts could exceed 40 mph and that could lead to downed tree branches and holiday decorations.
In the Poconos, a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for up to 4 inches of snow (locally higher). Snow could also mix with ice and that could lead to slippery spots across the region. In the Lehigh Valley, Snow will mix with and change over rain as warmer air moves in later Wednesday night. All in all, it will be a very messy Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
The region will see a brief break later this week with some sunshine and then another large storm will take aim on our area this weekend. Right now we think colder air will be in place for the 2nd storm but there may be less moisture and that will keep accumulations down. We will keep you posted with any changes. Until then, Happy Holidays!