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Christmas travel weather forecast: Mostly smooth sailing for your holidays

Nice weather (Groman123/Flickr)

Most folks traveling for Christmas this week should see quiet weather, forecasters say.

“Tranquil weather conditions through Christmas Day will make for a nice stocking stuffer from Mother Nature for those traveling through the holiday,” National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Mullinax said.

Major travel hubs in the Northeast and Midwest should see clear skies on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Much of the central and eastern USA should have no major travel concerns on Christmas Eve, with the exception of patchy morning fog, the Weather Channel said. The slow-moving Southeast rain and wind storm that swamped Florida on Sunday and Monday will finally pull away, although a few showers may linger along the Carolina and Georgia coasts.

Once that big rainmaker moves away from the Southeast, the only significant travel trouble spot will be in the Southwest on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve on Tuesday, precipitation will spread into the inland Southwest, bringing a mix of rain and snow to parts of Nevada and Utah, AccuWeather said. Snow is expected in the highest terrain of Colorado, as well as northern Arizona and New Mexico, while the rest of the Southwest will see rain.

A large area of high pressure will bring mild and dry conditions to a big part of the country for Christmas Eve: “Santa could give Rudolph’s red nose a break across the eastern half of the U.S. Christmas Eve night as dry conditions will be common for most eastern regions,” Mullinax said.

“High temperatures in parts of the nation’s midsection will soar into the 60s, while parts of the southern Plains reach the 70s both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” he said.

The mild temperatures will continue to melt much of the snow that fell last week in portions of the north-central USA, ending the hopes for a white Christmas in that region, AccuWeather said.

Christmas Day should be free of major travel headaches in a majority of the country, the Weather Channel said, as should the day after Christmas.

There will be one exception to the good forecast Thursday: Rain, possibly heavy, is expected in Southern California. Some snow is possible in the mountains near Los Angeles that may lead to some tricky travel in the high country, the Weather Channel said.


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