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New storm could pose holiday travel headaches across nation

The storm out of California could bring snow on Christmas to parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma, places that haven't seen that happen in more than 80 years. The Weather Channel's Julie Martin reports.

A major winter storm that on Sunday was dumping steady rain and snow on Northern California could strengthen as it makes its way east, promising a White Christmas – and travel headaches – for a wide swath of the country.

The storm will deposit snow from California’s Sierra mountains to New England through Friday morning, forecasters said. “Unfortunately, this occurs not only during the Christmas holiday, but also in the peak travel period after Christmas Day in the South, Midwest and East,” weather.com said.

Forecasters warned that roads would become treacherous Christmas Day and Christmas night from the High Plains of western Kansas and the Texas Panhandle eastward into Oklahoma, extreme north Texas, Arkansas and into the mid-Mississippi Valley.

There was also the potential for severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, hail and tornadoes in parts of the South on Christmas Day, said Greg Forbes, The Weather Channel’s severe weather expert.

The storm was expected to reach the Northeast Wednesday, bringing gusty winds and widespread precipitation. Whether that precipitation will be snow or rain remains to be seen.

Millions are on the move the Sunday before Christmas, and while the holiday outlook has improved from recent days, weather might continue to disrupt travel plans in some parts of the country. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez reports.

“For now, snow seems most likely in the interior Northeast, with the potential for rain or perhaps a wintry mix to start in the major metros,” weather.com said.

The new storm comes on the heels of another storm that buried parts of Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin in more than a foot of snow last week and led to thousands of flight delays or cancellations.

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