Blizzard Looms for Philadelphia, New York City, Boston

December 25, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
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The storm bringing a rare white Christmas to the South will strengthen into a blizzard across the mid-Atlantic and New England Sunday into Monday. A nightmare awaits holiday travelers.

The corridor from Salisbury, Md. to Philadelphia to New York City to Boston to Portland will be faced with roughly 18 hours of heavy, wind-whipped snow.

Total snow accumulations within this zone will exceed a half foot. More than a foot will bury places from the New York City area to Bangor, Maine.

Strong winds will significantly blow and drift the snow around, leading to an all-out blizzard from Philadelphia northward.

Disruptive snow will even expand westward to Washington, D.C. and Albany.

The blizzard headed to the Northeast created this wintry scene in northeastern Missouri. Photo submitted by AccuWeather.com Facebook fan Lewistown StormWatcher on Dec. 25, 2010. Feel free to upload your snow photos on our Facebook page.

The worst of this monster storm will slam the Delmarva during the day on Sunday, Philadelphia and New York City Sunday afternoon and night, and Boston Sunday evening into Monday morning.

A nightmare is in store for holiday travelers. "People may have problems getting home from holiday ventures," Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski declared when AccuWeather.com first warned of this snowstorm potential.

Travel will become nearly impossible from Philadelphia northward as the all-out blizzard ensues late Sunday into early Monday morning. Those planning to travel on Interstate 95 during this time run the risk of becoming stranded for a time.

Officials may even be forced to close roads for a time.

Even in places that escape the worst of the blizzard, snow-clogged roadways and dramatically reduced visibility await motorists who decide to venture out during the snowstorm.

Airline passengers across the mid-Atlantic should prepare for cancelations Sunday. The best time to travel to and from southern New England Sunday will be during the morning, since conditions will deteriorate later in the day.

With the blizzard set to slam the major airport hubs across the Northeast, the ripple effect from these delays could lead to additional problems elsewhere across the United States.

The nightmare for travelers will continue into Monday despite the snowstorm coming to an end.

Fierce winds following the storm will keep whipping the snow around, threatening to cause more flight cancelations and poor travel for motorists.

Improving weather Tuesday into Wednesday should give delayed holiday travelers an opportunity to finally reach their destinations.

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