Millions Under Winter Weather Advisories After White Christmas

27 December 2023. Millions of people in the north-central United States were under winter weather advisories and storm warnings Tuesday following a white Christmas. Forecasters say the region will continue to see heavy snow, blizzard conditions and freezing rain, snarling travel plans as Americans head home after the holiday.

Blizzard warnings affecting over 600,000 people went into effect Monday due to the winter storm, which brought 8 to 12 inches of snow to western parts of South Dakota. The National Weather Service said heavy snow and wind gusts as high as 60 mph will produce dangerous whiteout conditions and cause widespread travel disruptions throughout the region.

The worst of the wintry conditions occurred Monday night and early Tuesday morning for western Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska and northern Kansas, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Pydynowski. The storm’s intensity is expected to weaken Tuesday afternoon but locals will still have to deal with snow and ice.

“Travel is going to be extremely difficult with a wind-driven snow and a fair amount of freezing rain as well,” Pydynowski told News Agency.

A large portion of South Dakota and Nebraska as well as parts of northwestern Kansas and far eastern Colorado were also under blizzard warnings on Christmas Day.

Post-Christmas travel in flux amid wintry weather

The weather was causing delays for people heading home on Tuesday after the Christmas holiday by road and sky.

There were over 3,000 delays affecting flights inbound, outbound and within the U.S. by midmorning Tuesday, and over 80 cancellations, according to FlightAware.

While much of the eastern half of Colorado was under weather warnings, roads were closed, including I-70 from Denver to the Kansas line, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported. The National Weather Service warned high winds near Fort Collins could create hazardous driving conditions due to blowing dust and snow, with a risk of high-profile vehicles blowing over on Interstate 25.

Fallen trees could lead to blocked roads and power outages in parts of the Dakotas, the weather service said. In Nebraska, the state patrol said snow that fell during a Christmas Day storm could leave slick spots on roads affecting travelers on Tuesday.

Flooding rains to ease in southern and central Appalachians

The heavy rain that created flash flooding and mudslide conditions in the south and central Appalachians should gradually ease on Tuesday, Pydynowski said. Flood watches went into effect Monday from the northeast corner of Georgia through upstate South Carolina into western North Carolina.

“Certainly we’re concerned about some flash flooding and some possibilities of rock slides and mudslides that can often happen in western North Carolina, it’s pretty notorious area for that,” he said.

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