|A National Weather Service forecast map|
shows the expected powerful Christmas storm
over the Northern Plains.
The weather will include blizzards, ice, rain, floods, lots of wind and even the possibility of a tornado or two, depending upon where you live.
This is going to be another one of those cross- country storms that we've seen this month, the type that brings a variety of mostly bad weather coast to coast. starting with California and ending with the Northeast.
The difference this time is the upcoming storm is going to be stronger than the other ones we've had this month.
There are some benefits to this storm, though not many if you're planning to travel. The storm is going to sock California with quite a bit of rain and snow, which will put another dent into their severe drought.
It has been relatively wet in California this month, but not super wet. I guess it's better than nothing.
Rain will arrive there Friday, with snow in the Sierra Nevada and other high elevations. This won't be the world's most epic storm there, so only a little flooding is expected in the lowlands.
The mountains could get one to two feet of snow out of this, which is good for California.
The storm will begin to consolidate itself over the Rocky Mountains Saturday, dumping a decent amount of snow on many of the Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana ski resorts.
The storm will emerge into the western Plains somewhere near northeastern Colorado and quickly blow up into a powerful storm as it heads across South Dakota into northern Minnesota Sunday and Monday.
Blizzard watches are already up for Sunday into Monday in much of North Dakota and the western half of South Dakota.
Heavy snow could fall, and with winds gusting to maybe to as much as 55 mph, expect whiteouts in that neck of the woods if the forecast plays out as expected.
Near the storm track, freezing rain and sleet is a good bet for parts of central South Dakota into Minnesota.
Exactly where the ice sets up in that region is still open to question, so just wait for further forecasts if you're in places, or traveling through places like Sioux Falls, South Dakota or near or just north of Minneapolis.
Further south, the storm will bring up some very warm, humid and unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico, which could lead to a few severe Christmas Day thunderstorms in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.
In the East, Christmas Day weather will be quiet, as the storm will still be well to the west.
Most areas of the East will eventually get some rain out of this, but not any incredible amounts.
Across upstate New York and northern New England, the warm front associated with the storm might bring some mixed precipitation to that region later Sunday night and Monday, so think about that if you're going to be traveling up that way during the start of Christmas week
It'll probably get windy in the Northeast Monday and Tuesday as the storm trudges by to the north and drags a cold front through the region.