(CNN) – Some places in the United States that don’t usually have snow can get an unexpected white Christmas this year due to a snow storm.
It may be normal in the north, but places as far south as the Tennessee Valley can wake up to snow on Christmas morning too. Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; and the North Georgia Mountains can have some snow. Higher elevations will have more accumulation, but places like Knoxville, which are likely to have snow on Christmas Eve, have historically only had a 3% chance of a White Christmas.
The Christmas snowstorm is moving east
This is all part of a larger storm system that is getting stronger and can cause major problems all over the East Coast of the United States.
On Wednesday, snow will fall across much of the Midwest. Extreme winds will also be experienced there. Winter storm warnings are in effect for much of eastern North Dakota, Minnesota, and parts of northwestern Wisconsin. Snowstorm conditions are possible through downtown North Dakota through Wednesday.
“Winds can reach gusts of up to 95 km / h, significantly reducing visibility in the snow,” said the National Weather Service.
As the storm moves east, it will mainly be a source of rain. Christmas Eve will be wet for millions of people from upstate New York to northwest Florida. There may even be some severe storms.
“Last minute shoppers should be on the lookout for fast-moving storms,” said CNN meteorologist Gene Norman. “This storm configuration can easily tolerate dangerous winds and even some short, isolated tornadoes. Especially on Christmas Eve, the eastern parts of North and South Carolina, southern Georgia and Alabama, and parts of northwestern Florida are at risk.
From the Ohio Valley to the Tennessee Valley, rain turns to snow on Thursday afternoon. Much of West Virginia and eastern Ohio could see 3 to nearly 13 inches of snow, and even more could be seen at higher elevations.
For large cities in the northeast, the expected rain is causing places where snow is already on the ground. In New York, the Binghamton National Weather Service office warned residents: “In places where it has snowed heavily recently, this could add weight to the old snow cover on roofs / structures, causing structures to collapse. ». Rain that follows snow can also quickly melt and cause flooding.
Snow showers today and tonight. Quiet Wednesday. Focus remains on Thursday and Friday. Heavy rain and rapid snowmelt on Thursday increase the risk of puddles and add weight to old snow pack on structures. Snow late into the night on Thursday and wet surfaces quickly freeze. #nywx #pawx pic.twitter.com/I0DcQYCHrK
– NWS Binghamton (@NWSBinghamton) December 22, 2020
The storm will clear up for the most part in the morning, leaving a cold and windy Christmas in the south, but parts of the northeast will be quite warm. “Boston has a high average forecast of about 10 degrees Celsius on Friday, which is not only 10 degrees above normal, but it also means that Christmas Day will be warmer than Halloween in Beantown,” said the CNN meteorologist. Allison Chinchar.
Despite the pandemic, millions of people travel at Christmas
Despite the covid-19 numbers being the highest, people still take air travel. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Monday it has screened more than a million people at airport security for the third day in a row, which is the first during the pandemic. “1,064,629 people passed checkpoints across the country on Sunday,” the TSA said. This means that 3.2 million people have flown in three days.
Wednesday we could see delays in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota, and Grand Forks, North Dakota. On Thursday, the delays due to the rain will be felt in the southeast. This includes New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, and Atlanta. Snow delays will occur in places like Knoxville, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Delays are expected throughout Southern California in the coming days due to high winds from Santa Ana on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For the counties of Los Angeles and Ventura, the wind blows between 40 and 60 mph with low humidity. This will exponentially increase the likelihood of fires and lead to an increase in existing fires.