Holiday Travel: Snow Hits the Midwest by Christmas Eve

December 22, 2010; 2:49 PM ET
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The travel weather will be improving across Southern California, but will become poor across the Rockies and midsection of the country. The storm that produced the horrible weather across Southern California will move into the southern Rockies, spreading snow and rain from the Dakotas to New Mexico. On Christmas Eve, the travel problems will reach across the Midwest into Texas.

Northeast and Great Lakes (ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, MD, DE, VA, WV, KY, OH, IN, MI)

Only minor travel problems are expected through Christmas Day across the region.

Lake snow will continue, but will not be particularly heavy across western New York into northern Ohio. I-80 and I-90 that run through that area will have slow travel at times due to the lake snow.

Light snow will move into parts of Indiana and Kentucky Christmas Eve. The snowfall in that area will be a coating to 2 inches and may cause icy roads. Some of the interstates that will be affected by the snow will be I-70, I-71, I-65, I-24 and I-75.

Southeast (NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, AL, MS)

No weather-related travel problems are expected through Christmas Eve across the South.

A storm will hit Christmas Day, and that storm may produce snow across parts of Tennessee into North Carolina. If the storm strengthens quickly enough, it could produce heavy snow in these areas Christmas Day. If the snow occurs, routes along the I-40 corridor will be affected.

Stay tuned to AccuWeather.com for more information on the pending storm.

Midwest and Northern Plains (WI, IL, MN, IA, NE, ND, SD, MO)

Snow will develop from North Dakota through Missouri and Illinois Thursday into Christmas Eve.

We expect a swath of 1-4 inches of snow through that area which will disrupt travel along the major interstates. The snow will start in North Dakota Thursday and move southeastward into Iowa, Missouri and Illinois Christmas Eve.

The snow should move out by Christmas Day. The snow will affect I-90 in North Dakota first, then I-80, I-35, I-70, I-44 and I-55 by Christmas Eve. Roads will become snow covered and slippery, resulting in travel delays.

The snow should stay south of Chicago and Minneapolis, which is good news for air travel. Kansas City airport will be close to the snow, so some delays may occur. St. Louis airport will have delays Christmas Eve during the afternoon and at night.

Southern Plains (KS, AR, OK, TX, LA)

Thunderstorms will develop across central Texas Christmas Eve. Some of the storms will be heavy and may produce heavy rain and hail. Travel along I-35, I-45, I-20 and I-30 around Dallas will be slowed due to the storms.

A little snow is possible across Arkansas Christmas Day. Snowfall, if it does occur, would be in the range of a coating to an inch. That would be enough to cause icy travel along I-55 and I-40.

Northwest and Rockies (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO)

Most of the travel problems will be confined to western Washington and western Oregon Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. A storm off the coast will produce heavy rain along I-5, mainly north of Portland through Seattle.

Southwest (CA, NV, UT, AZ, NM)

Travel will be improving across Southern California, but check ahead through Christmas Eve for road closures due to the recent storm.

Travel problems along I-70 and I-40 will be confined to mainly Thursday. The storm will produce snow along these routes and, in some places, up to 6 inches of snow will fall. Travel over the higher passes will be poor at times due to snow and blowing snow.


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