Storm Travel Weather in Chicago, Detroit, Other Cities

December 20, 2011; 3:34 PM ET
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The storm that clobbered areas from New Mexico to Kansas with a blizzard will go easy on Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

As we suggested last week, the storm has peaked over the southern Plains and not the Midwest. This, combined with the lack of fresh cold air, will have a big negative factor against substantial snow on the southern Great Lakes area.

A narrowing band of accumulating snow will continue to point in the general direction of Chicago, but the decent snow area will pencil out amidst the warm air and lack of atmospheric dynamics.

Instead, a relative light mix of snow, sleet and rain, wet and melting snow or even plain rain will fall over much of the Ohio Valley states and the southern Great Lakes area with this storm Tuesday into Wednesday.

Travel along the I-64, I-70 and I-80/90 corridors will be wet over 99 percent of the area. Only areas west of Chicago on I-80 and near Kansas City on I-70 are likely to have any slush and slippery driving.

North of this area, not enough precipitation will fall to have substantial impact on travel.

Meteorologist Bill Deger is concerned that some of the thunderstorms that occur in the South today into this evening can be locally severe.

Chance of a White Christmas Not Zero

Interestingly this same swath is still in the running for some last ditch effort for a white Christmas.

Part of the same storm system that may bring the potential for substantial snow over the interior Northeast Christmas weekend could bring a light coating of snow Christmas Eve day in the Chicago/Milwaukee to Detroit/Cleveland swath.

Any snow would come from an upper-level disturbance associated with the storm on the East Coast.


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