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Major winter storm poses threat for holiday travel

Traveling could be tricky in certain parts of the U.S., where blizzards and severe storms are expected to last through the evening on Christmas day. The Weather Channel's Paul Goodloe reports.

A major winter storm sweeping through the United States could tangle holiday travel plans in the central United States and even in the South, as could a weaker storm moving through the Northeast.  

The Northeast storm will likely bring a "wintry mix" to cities of the I-95 corridor and east to the coast but could still be detrimental to holiday travelers, according to weather.com. 

“Despite the ‘more wet than white’ forecast for the I-95 urban corridor, expect major delays at the major Northeast airport hubs Wednesday due to low cloud ceilings and strong winds,” weather.com warned. “These delays may persist into Thursday morning due to low clouds, wind and potential changeover to light snow.”

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The Weather Channel added: “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.”

According to the flightstats.com website, 146 flights had been canceled and 4,089 had been delayed across the U.S. as of 10:50 p.m. ET on Monday. It was not known how many of these problems were due to the weather. 

Car travelers will also likely be impacted -- AAA estimates that 93.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles for the holidays. 

Last week, snow and high winds disrupted thousands of flights from the Midwest through the Northeast.

The stronger storm started in the Western U.S. and dumped six feet of snow in California's Sierra mountains.  

Snow is forecast to cover the roads in Salt Lake City on Christmas morning, weather.com reported. Fresh snow is also expected to blanket parts of the adjacent High Plains, including Denver.  

As the storm, dubbed "Euclid" by The Weather Channel, moves southeast, it threatens to hinder travel in the South, where it is forecast to bring “severe thunderstorms capable of damaging winds and tornadoes,” according to weather.com. Rain and thunderstorms are also predicted to hit Jacksonville, Charlotte and Orlando on Christmas Day.

Hundreds of flights hit again as winter weather continues

The storm is will rev up over Texas and sweep east into Mississippi. Thunderstorms are expected to develop during the morning hours of Christmas Day, around 3 a.m., lasting until about noon, according to The National Weather Service.

It is forecast to move through the South with 70- to 80-mile-per-hour winds early Wednesday morning, which prompted Mississippi officials encouraged residents to bring in their outdoor Christmas decorations for fear they could become dangerous projectiles.

“We understand that most people will be focusing on the holiday,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. “Please plan now for how you will receive a severe weather warning and know where you will go when it is issued.”

“There are enough conditions working together to increase the threat for severe weather on Christmas Day,” the Weather Service said, adding that the main threat exists from the Houston area northward to College Station. “Residents of Southeast Texas are encouraged to monitor forecasts for updates.”

Three to six inches of snow are predicted in northern and western Arkansas later on Christmas Day, according to the Weather Service. One to three inches are forecast elsewhere in the state, although no accumulation is expected near the border with Louisiana.

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