Over 3 million Americans face BLIZZARD warnings on Christmas with up to a foot of snow in Plains while most of US deals with unseasonably warm temps

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • White Christmases arrived in the Midwest, but brought with them blizzard warnings that could stifle holiday travel
  • Snowy and icy conditions are expected to last through at least Tuesday in some areas of the country, as others see significant Christmas Day snowfall 
  • Other parts of the US are forecast to have warm temperatures for Christmas 

A white Christmas arrived for Americans in the Plains overnight, as a blizzard warning blew in alongside visitors from the North Pole.

Blizzard warnings were sent out Sunday morning across many parts of Nebraska and sections of neighboring South Dakota. According to AccuWeather meteorologists, conditions are set to become more treacherous Monday and through Tuesday as snow fall and windspeeds ramp up.

Tyler Roys, a senior AccuWeather meteorologist said: ‘This storm is coming just in time to bring a white Christmas for some in the Rockies and Plains.’

On Christmas Day, the storm is heading east toward the Midwest from Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming – as mentioned above, Nebraska and South Dakota are predicted to be hardest hit.

The Omaha area could see as much as nine inches of snow and sleet. Parts of Arizona have already recorded over half a foot of snow.

US weather map shows rain and snow expected across a significant swath of the country on Christmas

‘The duration of the storm will add to the wintry feel through midweek for any holiday activities,’ Roys said, though it also may add some strife to holiday travel schedules.

Early Christmas Day, the National Weather Service issued Ice Storm Warnings for areas in eastern North and South Dakota.

The NWS has additionally issued storm warnings, blizzard warnings, and winter weather advisories across seven more states: Alaska, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon and Washington.

Heavy snow will increase in coverage across Kansas on Christmas Day, with winds coming in at speeds upward of 55mph.

‘While a White Christmas may be exciting for those nestled at home, the heavy snowfall rates and reduced visibilities due to blowing snow will make for hazardous, to even impossible, travel conditions,’ said the NWS.

Up to seven inches of snow are expected in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. Travelers have been told to plan for slippery road conditions and less-than-ideal visibility.

In Minnesota, ice accumulation and winds of up to 45mph are expected. Forecasters say that power outages and damage to trees are likely due to the ice.

According to AccuWeather meteorologists, conditions are set to become more treacherous on Monday and through Tuesday as snow fall and windspeeds ramp up

According to AccuWeather meteorologists, conditions are set to become more treacherous on Monday and through Tuesday as snow fall and windspeeds ramp up

While Midwest states will be blanketed with snow, winter conditions will make holiday travel a more dangerous undertaking

While Midwest states will be blanketed with snow, winter conditions will make holiday travel a more dangerous undertaking

The NWS issued winter storm warnings in 10 states on Christmas

The NWS issued winter storm warnings in 10 states on Christmas

Nebraskans have been told to avoid icy roads

Nebraskans have been told to avoid icy roads

The Plain state will be one of the hardest hit by Christmas snow storms

The Plain state will be one of the hardest hit by Christmas snow storms

The weather in the Plains was making difficult driving conditions for some parts of the Plains. Authorities were warning people to avoid I-80 in Nebraska because of the snow. 

‘The storm is causing issues on the roads on this Christmas morning. Slick driving conditions and blowing snow continue in many areas of the state,’ the Nebraska Highway Patrol stated on X. 

Similar warnings were being issued just a bit further north. 

‘The ice combined with the strong winds will make driving higher profile vehicles very difficult. If you must travel slow down, turn headlights on, increase your following distance and wear your seatbelt,’ the South Dakota Highway Patrol warned. 

There were also some minor flight issues across the US. According to FlightAware, more than 1,200 flights in or to the US experienced delays on Christmas, with another 137 being canceled. 

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta had the highest number of delays at 42, with six cancelations.

According to FlightAware, more than 1,200 flights in or to the US experienced delays on Christmas, with another 137 being canceled. Pictured: Travelers at JFK airport in New York City on December 23

According to FlightAware, more than 1,200 flights in or to the US experienced delays on Christmas, with another 137 being canceled. Pictured: Travelers at JFK airport in New York City on December 23

While some areas are experiencing classic winter weather conditions, others are seeing warme-than-usual conditions. Pictured: People traveling at an Orlando airport

While some areas are experiencing classic winter weather conditions, others are seeing warme-than-usual conditions. Pictured: People traveling at an Orlando airport

While some areas are experiencing classic winter weather conditions, others are seeing warme-than-usual conditions.

In Chicago, temperatures were expected to reach the mid-50s, which would be the 7th highest on record. Last year’s Christmas temp was 14 degrees, according to NBC Chicago. 

The Northeast was also experiencing warm weather for Christmas, with the high in Boston nearing 50 degrees around midday. Similar temps were also felt in New York and New Jersey. 

‘For most of the final week of 2023, conditions across the Northeast will continue to feel nothing like winter, as mild, damp and occasionally rainy conditions are in store,’ Accuweather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said. 

In Atlanta, the high is expected to hit 61 degrees, but wet weather is causing headaches for people traveling for the holiday.  

In New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, warm rain could bring flooding on Monday evening, pouring down more than three inches of Christmas rain.

In Florida, the panhandle is under flood threat. And from there, heavy rain will cross into Georgia and South Carolina. Gulf Coast rain will likely reach two-to-three inches, and some areas will see more like four or five.

The rest of the East Coast will likely see that same rain on Tuesday and into the rest of the week.

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