Environment
6:43 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Huge Storm May Mean Snow And Ice For Holiday Travelers

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:21 pm

A huge storm currently moving through the country's midsection means holiday travelers will face snow, ice and thunderstorms.

As Accuweather explains, this is a spring-like storm moving into a winter pattern, so the prospect is for "nasty" severe weather, "especially across the lower Mississippi Valley."

CNN reports that the weather system has already been blamed for three deaths. The network adds:

"Heavy rain, damaging winds and lightning were forecast to continue into Sunday morning. These storms will spread, bringing downpours to Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and up the East Coast on Sunday.

"On Saturday night, the National Weather Service said a tornado was likely to blame for damage in central Mississippi, including four semi trucks overturned and five houses heavily damaged.

"Some of the highest rain totals for Saturday occurred in Junction, Illinois, where 6 inches were reported, and Trumann, Arkansas, where residents had 7 inches of rain by late Saturday evening.

"The main trigger for the severe weather is the above-average temperatures farther north."

Farther north, Weather.com reports that cities like Des Moines, Chicago and Milwaukee could see an extra three to five inches of snow. And on the East Coast, portions of Upstate New York, New Hampshire, northern Vermont, and southern and central Maine will likely see a pretty nasty ice storm through Sunday.

The good news? The frightful weather is forecast to move out by Christmas. USA Today reports:

"After it clears, it will be cold in some areas, but 'pretty quiet' and 'uneventful' for most of the country for Wednesday's Christmas Day, [Jack Boston, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather] says.

"Korty also expects a 'pretty good' holiday weather environment.

"'There shouldn't be any significant storms' on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to dampen holiday cheer, he says."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.