Christmas Week Winter Storm Could Cause Travel Nightmare For Millions


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As the first official day of winter approaches, millions of Americans find themselves in the path of a massive storm system slowly moving across the country. The storm will bring frigid temperatures that are well below average, along with rain, snow, and high winds as people prepare to travel for Christmas.

"At this time, there is every indication to believe that a major storm will unfold and track from somewhere over the South Central states to the Northeast," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

Snow could reach stretch from Chicago as far south as Atlanta, leading to potential travel delays at two of the busiest airports in the country. It could also spawn severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes as it moves across the Central Plains toward the Northeast and Atlantic Coast.

"This storm will likely become intense, feeding on the extremely sharp variation between the surging arctic air arriving from the Central states and relatively warm air across the southeastern U.S.," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter said. "Major East Coast storms over the decades have occurred in this type of setup, bringing the risk for heavy snow and rain, gusty winds, coastal flooding, severe thunderstorms, and even tornadoes on the southern side of the storm."

In addition to the wintery weather, Americans across the Central Plains are also bracing for frigid subzero temperatures that will feel even colder due to high winds, dropping the wind chills to 45 degrees below zero.

"Highs will only reach into the single digits throughout the northern Plains, while lows fall into subzero territory and minus teens closer to the Canadian border," the Weather Prediction Center said. "Gusty winds will make it feel even colder throughout northern Montana, where wind chill advisories are in effect due to the potential for wind chills to dip as low as 30 to 45 degrees below zero."

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