Stormy, wet weather expected for Christmas and New Year holidays

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 150 views 

Editor’s note: story info provided by AccuWeather


For many in Arkansas and the eastern half of the U.S., the Christmas and New Year break will be wet and windy. A series of storms is expected to move through that may be severe and produce floods in some areas, according to AccuWeather.

In Arkansas, the storms will hit Tuesday and carry into Wednesday, Fortunately, parts of Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith metro area are expected to avoid much of the storm. Also, the watershed areas in Oklahoma that feed the Arkansas River are also expected to be outside the area of heavy rainfall. However, central and northeast Arkansas are in the zone that could see severe weather.

According to AccuWeather, holiday travelers in much of the central and eastern U.S. should know that weather conditions could change quickly.

“The risk of gusty to locally damaging thunderstorms will develop from northeastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma to western parts of Louisiana and Arkansas during Tuesday night,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski noted in this report.

Main threats with these storms include damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes. On Wednesday, an even greater threat for damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will ramp up across portions of northern and central Mississippi, northwestern Alabama, western Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. Thunderstorms with locally gusty winds may extend as far north as northern Indiana by late Wednesday.

cmasweather-accuweatherIn addition to severe storms, the risk for flooding will be prevalent farther to the east.

“Into Christmas Eve, parts of the Gulf Coast could see 4 to 5 inches of rain with locally higher amounts,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski. “While this rain will fall over the span of three to four days, flooding will still be a concern given how wet it has been recently.”

Also, the weather threat may return in time to dampen New Year festivities.

“As a major storm is forecast to roll across the southern Rockies, the risk of a significant outbreak of severe weather may increase over the South Central states prior to the start of 2016,” Sosnowski said. “The days of greatest concern would be Sunday, Dec. 27, over the southern Plains and Monday, Dec. 28., over the Mississippi Valley.”

According to AccuWeather, there have been only 10 tornado-related fatalities in 2015, significantly lower than the 20-year annual average of 80. The lowest number of recorded tornado fatalities was 12 in 1910, and the highest was 794 deaths in 1925.