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Let it snow? Christmas may be white in Northeast, southern Plains, Seattle

Snow on Christmas Day marks the start of a week of wet and wild weather through much of the US, including more of the white stuff. Here's where residents will want their shovels and sleds.

By Ron SchererStaff writer / December 24, 2012

Snow in Fraser, Colorado, on Friday. While the Rockies usually have snow, people in places as diverse as Seattle, Oklahoma City, and Boston may see snow for Christmas.

Brennan Linsley/AP

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Most Christmas Day travelers will be able to get to Grandma’s house without needing to throw a set of tire chains in the trunk. But not everyone.

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Residents of places like Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., can expect six inches or more of the white stuff. Dallas may see a light dusting of snow. And St. Louis, which often misses the worst of the snow storms, may have to crank up the salt spreaders after all.

In the Northeast, meanwhile, a weak weather system may deliver a light coating of snow by Christmas morning to the suburbs of Philadelphia, New York, and even Boston. Roads are likely to be slick, but not impassable.

On the West Coast on Christmas Day, residents in the hilly suburbs of Seattle may also be scraping snow off their windshields. Through the day that snow will spread into the Cascade mountain range in Oregon and, perhaps, northern California.

The wintry weather on Christmas Day marks the beginning of a week that meteorologists predict will be wet, wild, and possibly white.

“The pattern is a stormy weather pattern for the week for a good chunk of the country,” says Tom Kines, a meteorologist at AccuWeather.com in State College, Pa.

People along the Gulf Coast from Houston to the panhandle of Florida need to be especially alert, he says. That area faces the potential for severe thunderstorms and, possibly, tornadoes. At the very least, residents there will get a lot of rain, as warm air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with the cold air to the north.

“Residents in those areas could have a very wet Christmas,” says Mr. Kines.

Storm systems racing across the country are likely to cause delays at some airports during the busiest travel days of the year. However, because most of the precipitation in the eastern US will be rain, the delays aren't expected to be too bad.

Moreover, the prospect of wet weather is not likely to adversely affect retailers who traditionally have one of their busiest days of the year on Dec. 26, when shoppers return gifts, cash in gift cards, or take advantage of sales, says some retail analysts.

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