Santa Claus and his reindeer are going to be in for a rough ride this Christmas Eve.
A powerful storm system will sweep through the region, bringing downpours, potential flooding, and strong to damaging winds starting around nightfall on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, and lasting into Christmas Day morning, Friday, Dec. 25.
The storm will unleash “extreme weather" in the region, said AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno, who added, “Make sure you’re ready for that."
For areas where there are High Wind and Storm warnings, flood watches, and wind advisories in effect, see the first image above. from 6 p.m. Thursday into 10 a.m. Friday morning. The High Wind Warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday into 10 a.m. Friday morning, the Flood Watch last from 11 p.m. Thursday until 11 a.m. Friday.
Thursday will be mostly cloudy and warmer during the morning and afternoon, with the high temperature in the low to mid 50s, ending a stretch of cold, dry days.
Rain is expected to arrive around 4 p.m. Thursday, accompanied by strong wind gusts
The rain will be heavy at times Thursday night into early Friday morning, the National Weather Service said in a Hazardous Weather Outlook statement issued early Thursday morning.
The rain will lighten and eventually end late Friday morning into Friday afternoon.
Total rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is forecast.
"Excessive runoff in areas of low lying and poor drainage, as well as urban areas, could result in flooding," the National Weather Service said. "Some area rivers and streams may exceed bankfull."
The rain will fall on a deep snowpack leading to snowmelt, and those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action, the statement said.
Locally damaging wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour in parts of the region will bring the risk of power outages on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day morning on Friday.
Light rain, showers, and snow showers are likely at times during the day throughout the day and into the early evening.
Friday will be cloudy with the temperature falling during the afternoon to the upper 30s.
The overnight low temperature will drop into the mid 20s, leading to a much colder day on Saturday, Dec. 26, which will be mostly sunny with the high temperature in the low 30s.
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