Christmas weekend travel could be dangerous as powerful storm hits Upstate New York | will it snow in florida


Syracuse, N.Y. — A massive winter storm rumbling across the U.S. this week could cause icy roads and power outages in Upstate New York just as the Christmas weekend travel begins.

On Thursday and Friday, Upstate New York is expected to get heavy rain that would wash away road salt. As temperatures plunge during the day Friday, roads and sidewalks could become sheets of ice. Winds of up to 55 mph could knock down trees and power lines. Lake effect snow could kick in over the weekend for areas downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

In the Midwest, the storm is predicted to bring brutal cold and blizzard conditions that could snarl air travel and lead to delays and cancellations across the country.

“This would be a storm with significant travel impacts on any day of the week/time of the year, but this will only be enhanced by the fact that this is occurring ahead of a holiday weekend,” said the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, which covers Central New York and the Finger Lakes.

Bitterly cold air is spilling down from the Arctic Circle, pushing temperatures in Canada to 50 below zero already. That mass of air will keep dropping deep into the US, eventually bringing temperatures in the teens as far south as Florida.

Bitter cold descends on U.S. just before Christmas

Cold air from the Arctic Circle will push all the way into the southern U.S. this week, causing blizzard conditions in the Midwest and ice and high winds in the Northeast.

The national weather service headquarters urged anyone traveling in the U.S. late this week to keep up to date on forecasts.

“With such a large and powerful storm system impacting a majority of the nation during one of the biggest travel weeks of the year,” the weather service said, “it is imperative that travelers check the latest forecast before venturing out.”

Here’s the latest thinking on how the storm will unfold in Upstate New York. This forecast is likely to change, so check our weather page for updates.

Thursday morning: Precipitation will start falling by late morning. Temperatures will be cold enough at the start for light snow or a snow and rain mix, but as temperatures warm during the afternoon we’ll see all rain.

Thursday night: The storm ramps up after dark, with rain becoming heavier and winds picking up. An inch or more of rain could fall by Friday afternoon, which could lead to isolated flooding problems.

Friday morning: The heaviest rain is likely to fall Friday morning through early afternoon, and wind gusts could reach 55 mph as the cold front smashes into the warm air from the south. Winds that powerful could break tree limbs, which would fall onto utility lines and cause power outages.

Temperatures keep rising into the 40s or even low 50s through Friday morning.

Friday afternoon. When the cold front crashes in from the west, the real problems start. Temperatures are likely to plunge from 50 to freezing in a few hours, and keep falling to about 20 by Friday night. A flash freeze could occur, turning wet surfaces like streets and sidewalks into the equivalent of ice skating rinks. It might take road crews a while to get roads clear again. Rain switches over to light snow across much of Upstate into Saturday.

High winds continue to blow until late Friday night, driving wind chills to well below zero in some parts of Upstate.

Saturday (Christmas Eve): Rain ends and winds start to ebb. The cold air settles in, however, and highs on Saturday and Christmas Day are only in the high teens or low 20s, with overnight wind chills remaining below zero.

Cold air and winds will generate lake effect snow, largely in Western New York and Tug Hill.

Christmas Day: Cold again, with highs only in the lower 20s. It remains to be seen who ends up with some lake effect snow. It could dip as far south as Syracuse, leaving open the chance for a white Christmas.



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