ForexTV NewsDesk | December 26 2012 10:08 EST
ForexTV.com (New York) by Kyle Henry
Those dreaming of a white Christmas may have gotten more than they bargained for this year. A gigantic storm surged through middle America and the deep south this holiday and is now making its way north, up the eastern coast. The storm is complete with; substantial snow, soaking rain, an icy mix, strong winds, and severe weather.
Rare winter tornados caused severe damage across Louisiana and Alabama, leaving over 100,000 without power on Christmas. The storm has also been linked to three deaths and several injuries, although no recorded deaths were due directly to the tornados.
Thirty-four tornadoes were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during the outbreak Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. Rick Cauley's family was hosting relatives for Christmas when tornado sirens went off in Mobile. Refusing to take any chances, Rick ushered his family to the nearby shelter located in Mobile's Murphy High School.
"As luck would have it, that's where the tornado hit," Cauley said. "The pressure dropped and the ears started popping and it got crazy for a second."
Cauley and his family were fine, although the school suffered extensive damage.
More than a foot of snow is expected to accumulate on the storm's north-western front covering the lower Ohio valley to the interior northeast going into Thursday morning.
Six to twelve inches can be expected in surrounding areas including; Maine, Portland, Detroit, and Indianapolis.
Flight delays are to be expected along with hazardous driving conditions for all areas affected by the storm. Due to strong winds and drifting snow, decreased visibility is likely. The travel website flightstats.com reported 372 flights were cancelled as of Wednesday morning and 311 were delayed.
Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas has experienced over a dozen flight cancellations on both departing and arriving flights. Victor Caballero and his girlfriend were planning on flying home to Los Angeles, however their connecting flight was among those grounded.
"Right before it was supposed to depart it got cancelled, so we got stuck for the day, and we're not going to leave until six tomorrow [night]" Cabellero said.
Snow is not the only threat this storm brings, as torrential rain capable of causing flash flooding is likely for; Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon, Philadelphia and New York City on Wednesday night and Boston late Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
Motorists are cautioned not to take this rain lightly, as it has potential to turn to freezing rain, and a wintery mix creating the possibility for slick roads, including areas of black ice.
Bursts of strong winds will push northward along the coast into Thursday, whipping through Long Island and New York City during the evening and overnight hours of Wednesday, and Boston later Wednesday night.
Strongest winds will likely reach between 50 and 60 miles per hour at times, posing the threat of tree damage and power outages. This coupled with higher astronomical tides could lead to coastal flooding. While this storm is not as severe as Hurricane Sandy, damage is likely as protection from these storms have yet to be rebuilt after being swept away by Sandy.
Conditions throughout the East Coast is expected to improve on Friday, while a new storm may be brewing in the Deep South.
Forex research by ForexTV.com