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Christmas Day May Bring Tornadoes In Southeast

Looking ahead to Tuesday and Wednesday: the darker the shading, the greater the risk of severe weather.
National Weather Service
Looking ahead to Tuesday and Wednesday: the darker the shading, the greater the risk of severe weather.

Snow likely won't be the big weather story for much of the nation on Christmas Day, say the forecasters at the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel. But some potentially severe weather is in the forecast.

Tornadoes are possible along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast. Here's what The Weather Channel says about Tuesday:

"Severe weather outbreak may begin before sunrise Christmas morning in east and southeast Texas into Louisiana. The severe storm threat spreads east along the Gulf Coast, taking in the lower Mississippi Valley by midday and as far east as Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle by afternoon. Tornadoes, damaging winds of 60 to 80 mph, and large hail are all threats in these areas!"

That bad weather is expected to move east and north into the Carolinas and Virginia as Tuesday becomes Wednesday.

To the west, as reports, "a major winter storm slammed into California Sunday, bringing very heavy rain along with several feet of new snow to the Golden State. The high elevation snow fell on the heels of another strong storm on Saturday." Next, "it is likely that more snow will fall on the Sierra Nevadas before the next storm arrives on Christmas afternoon." Then, "this same storm will move eastward Monday, where Winter Weather Advisories are ready and waiting in anticipation of over a foot of new snow. As it moves over the Rockies and into the Plains, it will strengthen significantly on Christmas Day."

As you'd expect, all this means traveling could be tough on Christmas and for a day or two after.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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