(CNN)Some unexpected spots might see a white Christmas this year.
It might be normal in the North, but places as far south as the Tennessee Valley could wake up to snow on Christmas morning, too. Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; and the North Georgia Mountains could get some. Higher elevations will get more accumulation, but places like Knoxville, which will most likely have snow Christmas Eve, historically has only a 3% chance of a white Christmas.See the chances of a White ChristmasChristmas Storm moving eastThis is all part of a larger storm system that is strengthening and could cause major problems all across the Eastern seaboard. Read MoreThroughout Wednesday, snow will fall across much of the Midwest, which will also experience extreme wind. Winter storm watches are in effect across much of Eastern North Dakota, Minnesota and portions of northwest Wisconsin. Blizzard conditions are possible through the Wednesday in central North Dakota.”Winds could gust as high as 60 mph, causing significantly reduced visibilities in blowing snow,” according to the National Weather Service.As the storm moves east, it will be mainly a rainmaker. Christmas Eve will be wet for millions from Upstate New York to the Florida Panhandle. There could even be some severe storms.”Last-minute shoppers need to be on the lookout for quick-moving storms,” says CNN meteorologist Gene Norman. “This storm setup could easily allow for dangerous winds and even a few brief isolated tornadoes. Especially at risk on Christmas Eve are eastern sections of North and South Carolina, southern Georgia and Alabama, and parts of the Florida Panhandle. From the Ohio Valley down to the Tennessee Valley, rain will switch to snow Thursday afternoon. Much of West Virginia and Eastern Ohio could see 3-5 inches of snow, with higher elevations seeing even more. For the big cities in the Northeast, the expected rain causes concern for places that already have snow on the ground. In New York, Binghamton’s National Weather Service office has warned residents, “Where recent heavy snow fell, this could add weight to old snowpack on roofs/structures resulting in collapsed structures.”
Snow showers today and tonight. Quiet Wednesday. Focus remains on Thursday and Friday. Heavy rain and rapid snowmelt Thursday increase risk for ponding and adds weight to old snow pack on structures. Snow late Thursday night and wet surfaces quickly ice over. #nywx #pawx pic.twitter.com/I0DcQYCHrK
— NWS Binghamton (@NWSBinghamton) December 22, 2020 Heavy rain following snow can also cause rapid melting and flooding. Track the Christmas forecastThe storm will clear out for most by morning, leaving a cold and windy Christmas across the South, but parts of the northeast will be rather warm. “Boston has a forecast high in the mid 50s Friday, which is not only 10 degrees above normal, but also means that Christmas Day will be warmer than Halloween was in Beantown, says CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Millions are traveling despite the pandemicEven though Covid-19 numbers are at their highest, people are still traveling by air. The Transportation Security Administration said Monday that it screened more than a million people at airport security for the third day in a row, which is a first during the pandemic. The TSA says, “1,064,629 people passed through checkpoints nationwide on Sunday.” This means 3.2 million people flew in three days. On Wednesday, we could see delays in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota, and Grand Forks, North Dakota. Thursday, the delays will be felt in the entire Southeast due to rainfall. This includes New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, and Atlanta. Delays for snow will be in places like Knoxville, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Travel delays are expected across Southern California during the next few days as powerful Santa Ana winds kick up on Wednesday and Thursday. For L.A. and Ventura Counties, winds will gust 40-60 mph with low humidity. This will increase the fire potential exponentially and cause growth to existing fires.