Holiday forecast: Storm clogs weekend travel, but Christmas looking calm (+video)
A sprawling winter storm this weekend is expected to create a sluggish start for holiday travelers, spreading snow, ice, flooding rains and possibly tornadoes to parts of the country.
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Downpours, gusty winds, and poor visibility are likely to delay flights along the East Coast, accuweather.com said.Skip to next paragraph
Katherine Jacobsen writes for the Monitor's international desk.
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The National Weather Service reported the possibility of tornadoes along the central Gulf Coast – in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi – on Saturday night as unseasonably warm air from the Gulf collides with cold air traveling south from the northern United States.
"I think there's a high likelihood there will be severe storms with hail and damaging wind" in parts of the South, said Tom Kines, an AccuWeather meteorologist. "Whether or not there's tornadoes, that's tough to say, but I will say the conditions are right."
While tornadoes are far more common in the spring and summer, they have struck in winter before. A tornado outbreak on Christmas Day 2012 reached from northeastern Texas through central Alabama — one twister hit Mobile, Ala. A tornado on Dec. 16, 2000, killed 11 people in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
AAA projects 94.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during this holiday season.
The bad weather is expected to give way to sunny skies and moderate temperatures over most of the United States by Christmas Eve on Tuesday, with some patches of snow and rain but mostly mild conditions, said meteorologist Chris Dolce of The Weather Channel in an interview with Reuters.
"The map really clears out," he told the news agency.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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