In a surprising climactic twist, a pair of storms are poised to unleash chaotic weather during the Christmas weekend in the United States. The combination of two systems, one battering southern California and deserts with heavy rain, and another in the northwest with rain and snow, this winter system threatens to create an extensive area of precipitation, with heavy snowfall expected on the northwest flank of the storm.
The most concerning consequences could be the heavy snowfalls that could have a significant impact on the mobility and travel plans of millions of Americans. Meteorologists are on high alert, closely monitoring the evolution of these storms to accurately determine where the worst conditions will develop.
A key complication these two storms will face is the lack of cold air over the western and central states. This absence of cold temperatures implies that snow levels will be elevated and unlikely to reach valley floors.
“When the two storms come together, there’s likely to be a prolonged period of snow accumulation,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham. “To the delight of skiers and snow lovers, but rather a nightmare for travelers,” he added.
“There will be pockets of snow both in the southern Rockies and in the inland northwest,” he continued with his weather forecast. “Before the merger from later this week through the beginning of the Christmas weekend,” Buckingham concluded.
This phenomenon poses an additional challenge for those planning to travel during the holiday season, as roads could become hazardous. The Forecast Center is intensifying its efforts to track a potentially disruptive storm that could affect holiday travel, potentially delivering a significant impact to those trying to return home for Christmas.
As the pair of storm systems from the Pacific Northwest and California move east of the Rocky Mountains later this week, a surface low pressure area is forecast to develop next Sunday on Christmas Eve. That system could then become a more potent storm, harnessing tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, said the FOX Weather Forecast Center.
“The rain will reach the Texas peninsula on Thursday morning and begin to spread across the Central Plains states,” said meteorologist Michael Estime.
“And as Thursday evening and Friday continue, it will cause a big rain event for many people who could see that low pressure area,” the expert added.
Similarly, heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected in the Central Plains from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. It’s still too early to determine if those storms will become severe, but forecast trends are being closely monitored.
“It will be imperative that, if you plan to travel later this week and then early this weekend, you plan ahead,” said Estime.
The Christmas combination of rain and snowstorms could wreak havoc on travel plans and inclement weather could continue to present a risk to travelers. Stay up-to-date with the forecast to mitigate potential travel disruptions and ensure that your holiday plans are safe and smooth.