Dec 21, 2019 - Science

Surprisingly warm weather forecast for much of the U.S. ahead of the holidays

Temperatures could be 15–20 degrees higher than average in parts of the country ahead of the holidays, while two storms may bring as much as half a foot of rain to the Southeast and a mix of snow and rain to the Pacific Northwest, the Washington Post reports.

What to watch: A storm is brewing and is expected to move through the middle of the country late next week, as many people plan post-Christmas travel, the Post writes. It's too early to know for sure, but the storms could be disruptive to those plans, per the Post

The South
  • A storm in the Southeast is currently moving from the New Mexico and Texas border toward Alabama, producing heavy rain.
  • Southeast Louisiana and eastern Mississippi are anticipated to experience continued rains and high winds starting Saturday afternoon. That system will spread to Alabama and Georgia by Sunday afternoon, per the Post.
  • Between 2 and 4 inches of rain are forecast as thunderstorms move over southern states, including Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia Sunday afternoon.
  • Rain and wind in Atlanta could cause airport delays at the world's busiest hub on Sunday, the Post writes.
Central and eastern U.S.
  • Some states will experience temperatures that are 15–20 degrees warmer than average for this time of year. Bismarck, North Dakota, is expected to hit a high of 43 on Saturday. The average temperature for the capital city is 23°F this time of year.
  • Warm weather across the Midwest and East could last beyond Christmas, per the Post.
Pacific Northwest and western states
  • Oregon and Washington state are anticipated to get 3–4 inches of rain through Sunday, according to the Post.
  • Northern California is forecast to see up to 2 inches of rain between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the Post notes.
  • It is likely to be drier for the West Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, but rain is still possible along the coast up to Oregon and Washington state next Thursday.
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