US Christmas travel: Storms to disrupt travel across West

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
December 23, 2016, 10:03:32 AM EST


    Areas of rain and snow will cause tricky Christmas travel for some across the nation to end this week.

    A record-breaking 103 million Americans are expected to travel from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

    Following light snow and a bit of rain in the Northeast from Thursday, a dry day is in store for the region on Friday.

    Static US Travel Friday


    However, while much of the Eastern states can expect good travel conditions to end the week, there will be some problems due to rain, ice and snow in the Central and Western states.

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    Rain, snow to disrupt travel across West

    One storm will move across Southern California and the Four Corners region with areas of rain and a wintry mix into Thursday night. Another area of rain and snow will push inland across the Pacific Northwest.

    Motorists will need to be wary for the threat of ice across central and northern New Mexico, northeastern Arizona and southwestern Colorado.

    A major storm will then take shape farther west on Friday.

    Heavy rain and rapidly falling snow levels are in store from Oregon to California on Friday. The treacherous travel conditions will expand across the Four Corners region on Saturday.

    Difficult and dangerous travel is in store across the major passes of California, especially Friday night into Saturday.

    Ice may glaze roads in central US

    The storm that delivered rain to the deserts and a wintry mix to the mountains in the Southwest on Thursday will emerge over the southern Plains with light rain and an icy mix by Friday.

    Areas of freezing drizzle can develop late Thursday night into Friday morning from the Texas Panhandle to the central Plains. This includes areas from Amarillo, Texas, to Kansas City, Missouri.

    Some of the wintry weather will reach the Midwest, including Chicago and Minneapolis, later in the day.

    The precipitation will tend to be spotty in nature, but even a small amount of ice or snow can cause extremely treacherous roadway conditions. A more potent and far-reaching storm will follow on Christmas Day.

    The threat for some wet and wintry weather will move into the Northeast by Christmas Eve.

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